ARNICA (ARcetri Near Infrared CAmera) is the imaging camera for the near infrared bands between 1.0 and 2.5 µm that Arcetri Observatory has designed and built as a general facility for the Tirgo telescope.
The scale is 1 arcsec per pixel, with sky coverage of more than 4 arcmin times 4 arcmin on the NICMOS 3 (256 X 256 pixels, 40 µm side( detector array. The optical path is compact enough to be enclosed in a 25.4 cm diameter dewar, the working temperature of optics and detector is 76 K.
The camera is remotely controlled by a Pentium class PC, connected to the array detector control electronics via a fiber-optics link. A C-language package, running under DOS and DVX on the PC, acquires and stores the frames, and controls the timing of the array. We give an estimate of performance, in terms of sensitivity with an assigned observing time,