Detector, Uvicon, Celescope

Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This Uvicon television tube is an unflown example of those flown on Project Celescope, a project developed at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in the 1960s to survey the entire ultraviolet sky from the Orbiting Astronomical Satellite. The detector is based upon standard Westinghouse "Vidicon" technology, used in TV systems of that day, and comprises the smaller diameter back end of the glass tube. The larger front section is an experimental imaging system that converts ultraviolet light into electrons and focuses them electrostatically onto the front of the Vidicon, which then scans the surface, producing a varying current that was telemetered to the ground for analysis. The data from Celescope resulted in a catalog of over 5,000 ultraviolet colors for stars.

The tube was transferred to NASM from SAO in 1973.