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Microchannel plate detectors for future NASA UV observatories
Author(s): C. Ertley; O. Siegmund; J. Vallerga; A. Tremsin; N. Darling; J. Hull; J. Tedesco; T. Curtis; C. Paw U.
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Paper Abstract

Microchannel plate sensors are widely used as photon counting imagers in many applications, including, astronomy, high energy physics, and remote sensing. Potential future NASA observatories with ultraviolet instruments, such as LUVOIR and HABEX, will require large area detectors (8k × 8k pixels) with large dynamic range (≥1 kHz/resel), high quantum efficiency (75% peak), and very low backgrounds (≤0.1 cts/sec/cm2 ). New microchannel plate technology combining borosilicate glass microcapillary arrays with high efficiency materials applied by atomic layer deposition are being developed with these goals in mind. Detectors with these microchannel plates can be made in large formats (up to 400 cm2 ) with focal plane matching, have high spatial resolution (<20μm), are radiation hard, and have very low background rates (<0.05 events/sec/cm2 ) with no readout noise. Typical sensors make use of high efficiency photocathodes in open faced detectors (< 110 nm range) or in ultra-high vacuum sealed tube devices (>110 nm range). New photocathodes, such as GaN and hybrid bialkali/alkali halide, have high quantum efficiencies over broadband wavelengths. Cross-strip anodes are well suited for large format detectors with high spatial resolution and high dynamic range requirements. Improvements to detector anodes and readout electronics have resulted in better spatial resolution (10×), output event rate (100×), and temporal resolution (1000×), all the while operating at lower gain (10×). Combining these developments can have a significant impact to potential future NASA sub-orbital and satellite instruments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2018
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 10699, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 106993H (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2314197
Show Author Affiliations
C. Ertley, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
O. Siegmund, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
J. Vallerga, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
A. Tremsin, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
N. Darling, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
J. Hull, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
J. Tedesco, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
T. Curtis, Space Sciences Lab. (United States)
C. Paw U., Space Sciences Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10699:
Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray
Jan-Willem A. den Herder; Shouleh Nikzad; Kazuhiro Nakazawa, Editor(s)

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