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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

Pixel response function experimental techniques and analysis of active pixel sensor star cameras
Author(s): Patrick Fumo; Erik Waldron; Juha-Pekka Laine; Gary Evans
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Paper Abstract

The pixel response function (PRF) of a pixel within a focal plane is defined as the pixel intensity with respect to the position of a point source within the pixel. One of its main applications is in the field of astrometry, which is a branch of astronomy that deals with positioning data of a celestial body for tracking movement or adjusting the attitude of a spacecraft. Complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors generally offer better radiation tolerance to protons and heavy ions than CCDs making them ideal candidates for space applications aboard satellites, but like all image sensors they are limited by their spatial frequency response, better known as the modulation transfer function. Having a well-calibrated PRF allows us to eliminate some of the uncertainty in the spatial response of the system providing better resolution and a more accurate centroid estimation. This paper describes the experimental setup for determining the PRF of a CMOS image sensor and analyzes the effect on the oversampled point spread function (PSF) of an image intensifier, as well as the effects due to the wavelength of light used as a point source. It was found that using electron bombarded active pixel sensor (EBAPS) intensification technology had a significant impact on the PRF of the camera being tested as a result of an increase in the amount of carrier diffusion between collection sites generated by the intensification process. Taking the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the resulting data, it was found that the intensified version of a CMOS camera exhibited a PSF roughly 16.42% larger than its nonintensified counterpart.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 May 2015
PDF: 12 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 1(2) 028002 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.1.2.028002
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 1, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Fumo, Draper Lab. (United States)
Erik Waldron, Draper Lab. (United States)
Juha-Pekka Laine, Draper Lab. (United States)
Gary Evans, Southern Methodist Univ. (United States)


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