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SIFAP2: a new versatile configuration at the TNG for the MPPC based photometer
Author(s): A. Ghedina; F. Leone; F. Ambrosino; F. Meddi; A. Papitto; L. Riverol; M. Hernandez; M. Cecconi; M. D. Gonzalez G.; H. Perez Ventura; J. J. San Juan
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Paper Abstract

The quality of SiFAP (Silicon Fast Astronomical Photometer) at the TNG has already shown its ability to easily detect optical pulses from transitional millisecond pulsars and from other slower neutron stars. Up to now the photometer based on Silicon Photo Multipliers manufactured by Hamamatsu Photonics (MPPC, Multi Pixel Photon Counter) was mounted (on and manually aligned with) a MOS mask at the F/11 focal plane of the telescope. In order to have a more versatile instrument with the possibility to remotely center and point several targets during the night we have decided to build a new mechanical support for the MPPCs and mount it on the Namsyth Interface (NI), where originally OIG and later GIANO were hosted. The MPPC module devoted to observe the target will be placed at the center of the FoV (on-axis), while the reference signal will be collected from a peripheral star in the FoV (Field of view) by means of the MPPC module that will be set at this position by a combination of a linear stage movement and a derotator angle. At the same time we have introduced the option for a polarimetric mode, with a 3rd MPPC module and a polarizing cube beam-splitter that separates the states between this and the on axis MPPC. SiFAP has been developed with 3 independent custom electronic chains for data acquisition, exploiting the 3 different outputs (analog, digital, USB pre-processed) provided by the MPPCs modules. The electronic chain fed by the analog output is able to tag a single photon ToA (Time of Arrival) with a time resolution of 25 ns, while the remaining electronic chains can integrate the signal into time bins from 100 ms down to 20 μs. The absolute time is provided by a GPS unit with a time resolution of 25 ns at 50% of the rising edge of the 1PPS (1 Pulse Per Second) signal which is linked to the UTC (Universal Time Coordinated). Apart from the versatility with the remotely controlled on sky configuration of the MPPCs, the mounting of SiFAP2 at the NI allows for a permanent hosting of the instrument, readily available for observations. The new polarimetric mode will then offer other scientific opportunities that have not been explored so far in high-temporal resolution astronomy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 July 2018
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 10702, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII, 107025Q (8 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2316348
Show Author Affiliations
A. Ghedina, Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)
F. Leone, Univ. degli Studi di Catania (Italy)
INAF - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania (Italy)
F. Ambrosino, Sapienza Univ. di Roma (Italy)
INAF - Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali - IAPS (Italy)
F. Meddi, Sapienza Univ. di Roma (Italy)
A. Papitto, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy)
L. Riverol, Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)
M. Hernandez, Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)
M. Cecconi, Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)
M. D. Gonzalez G., Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)
H. Perez Ventura, Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)
J. J. San Juan, Fundación Galileo Galilei - INAF (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10702:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
Christopher J. Evans; Luc Simard; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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