SDO Day 48: AIA Gets Cool
03.30.10
 
All of the instruments are now working with doors open and cold CCDs.

From Karel Schrijver of the AIA team:
Around 20:00 UT Monday the AIA CCD heaters were turned off, upon which the CCD temperatures dropped rapidly from about +40C to -70C then slowly settled towards their final temperatures. With that drop in temperature, we saw the camera background decrease markedly, and the image quality in all channels improve dramatically.

The engineering images are beautiful, even though taken in an approximate focus position. Tomorrow, we plan to make a series of focus scans to determine an initial optimal focus, and work will start on calibrating the detector amplifier gains, instrument stabilization system response, etc., which will continue to improve image quality.