The Madawaska Highlands Observatory Wide-Field-Telescope (WFT)
is designed to outperform all telescopes in the world in terms
of monolithic widefield imaging with deep magnitude (faint). For
example the telescope can survey the entire sky twice per night
to magnitude 21.5 with the wideband filter. Or reaching magnitude
27 with a five square degrees Field-of-View (FOV) in 5 hours.
A special tool to calculate the limiting magnitude used in all
This capability will permit it to generate extremely spectacular
wide-field images of the night sky and make significant contributions
to solar system science, cosmology and many other fields of research.
It could very well generate the best wide-field images of the
night sky in the world.
The WFT will be the most powerful telescope in Canada. It employs
very advanced technology and is full of innovation. The telescope
itself is extremely light, some 10% the mass of classic telescope
of its aperture. And employing the largest single chip CCD in
the world, 112 million pixel, a 4" x 4" image sensor.
The Wide-Field-Telescope has a Gapless Field-of-View of
This telescope is being made available to the global science community
and will operate in an autonomous queuing mode. We expect about
1,000 hours of available science time per year. This is available
to qualified institutions and other interested entities, organizations
The WFT has an extremely wide FOV of five square
degrees 26 full moons in area. In addition the FOV is gapless
and seamless, indeed it has the largest gaplesss FOV of any telescope
in the world in this aperture class.
The WFT excels in photographing extremely large
FOV to very faint magnitudes. And is the only such telescope in
the world that is available for lease (rent).
Five degrees² FOV
Gapless, seamless and contiguous image
2.23° x 2.23°
1 metre aperture - f/2.4
2.4 metres focal length
Prime focus optical design with a four lens corrector
0.76/9u pixel pitch
Etendue of AOmega; = 6.0m²deg²
21.5th magnitude whole sky, twice per night with wL filter
25th magnitude in 8 minutes with the wL filter (400 - 900
26th magnitude in 45 minutes
27th magnitude in 5 hours
Active optics - with 1u resolution - 6 degrees of freedom
Cryo-Tiger -100 °C cooling
1e-/hr/pixel, no dark frame required
Carbon fiber - Optical Tube Assembly 200 Kg
Open back cellular mirror - 0.25 optical surface
- real time temperature tracking
10,560 x 10,560 CCD 16-port image sensor
112,000,000 pixel sensor, 100% fill factor
16-bit sampling , 80,000 e- well size
250 MB monochromatic
750 MB tricolor
Back side illuminated sensor (BSI)
94% QE @ 550 nm
50% @ 1,000 nm
¾ sphere Calotte carbon fiber dome, elevated by
~4m from the ground
Highly corrected field-of-view - on axis 8u and edge (1.6°)
13u 80% encircle energy
Less than 6% vignetting in extreme corners
5 e- read noise @ 12 second downloads
10 e- read noise @ 2 second downloads
ugriz, L (400 - 700 nm), wL (400 - 900 nm) and a wide selection
<10 seconds filter change time
Exceptionally dark night sky 21.90 mag/arcsec² (SQM,
A detailed specifications
is available in pdf format.
The telescope has already had significant interest
from the global community.
sphere Calotte dome, elevated by 3.5 meters
The Calotte dome is made is carbon fibre, an outstanding
nano-material with superb thermal and mechanical properties. Carbon
fibre is also extremely light. This topology will allow the telescope
to track ambient temperature in real time and produce a smooth
laminar air flow for optimum science.
Over the last 8 years a series of technical
papers have been published in professional science journals and
newsletters. These were meant to introduce the Madawaska Highlands
Observatory Wide-Field-Telescope (WFT) and showcase its enormous
Highlands Observatory Wide-Field Telescope an the Array Telescope.pdf
Capabilities; (541 KB)
System Science with the Madawaska Highlands Observatory WFT;
Highlands Observatory Wide-Field telescope and the Canada France
Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) Wide-Field Comparative capabilities;
Science with the MHO.pdf (181 KB)
A short paper that demonstrates the MHO's capability to contribute
to the field of cosmology.
The Wide-Field-Telescope (WFT) - the most powerful
A second science telescope is planed for a later phase.
This spectacular 1.5 hour exposure in the g, r and i (SDSS) filters
with the newly commissioned T80 0.82m telescope al the Javalambre
Observatory in Spain. The image has sub arcsec seeing.
It uses the same STA1600 112M chip that we will use for the WFT.
Our mirror has 1.5X the area and twice the FOV. You can see the
chip delivers superb images, only limited by the optics and seeing.
Click on image for higher resolution.