An all-purpose camera, the LMI is the principal imager and workhorse instrument for DCT.
Lowell astronomer Phil Massey is Principal Investigator for the instrument. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation, the LMI was commissioned in 2013 and 2014 and is now in full service. To maximize its field of view, the LMI is mounted at the straight-through position of the instrument cube.
The LMI features a 36 megapixel e2V charge-coupled device (CCD) with a field of view of 12.5 x 12.5 arc minutes. The philosophy behind the LMI is to enable imaging of a significant field of view in one exposure. Smaller CCDs have to be assembled in a mosaic to cover a large field of view, which reduces observing efficiency and creates complications in data reduction. The LMI, which uses the largest CCD that can be manufactured using current technology, sidesteps these problems and gives the DCT a highly effective and efficient imaging camera.