HiPERCAM is a very significant advance on ULTRACAM. It is able to image simultaneously in 5 channels (ugriz
), rather than the 3 channels of ULTRACAM, and uses much higher throughput, larger optics than ULTRACAM, doubling the field of view to 10' and hence providing brighter comparison stars for differential photometry.
HiPERCAM can frame at (windowed) rates of 1.7kHz, rather than the maximum of 300Hz available with ULTRACAM. HiPERCAM uses detectors cooled to 180K (ULTRACAM's are only cooled to 233K), with deep-depletion CCDs in the red channels, each equipped with anti-etaloning, resulting in much lower dark current, higher quantum efficiency and lower fringing than ULTRACAM. Hence, as well as high-speed work, HiPERCAM is ideal for scientific applications requiring deep, single-shot spectral-energy distributions.
HiPERCAM will also be the first instrument to incorporate a novel scintillation-noise correction technique, known as conjugate-plane photometry, significantly reducing noise in light curves of bright objects such as transiting exoplanet host stars.