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Proceedings Paper

Development and testing of a 1024x1024 pixel Si:As IBC detector for SOFIA-like applications
Author(s): Kimberly A. Ennico; Thomas P. Greene; Craig R. McCreight; Mark E. McKelvey; Robert E. McMurray Jr.; Jerry R. Cripe
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Paper Abstract

Airborne and space telescope astronomical observations in the 5-25 micron wavelength region are critical for understanding the physical conditions, composition, chemistry, and excitation of many environments in the interstellar medium, external galaxies, solar system objects, extra-solar systems, and stars. The scientific impact is particularly unique in the 5-8 micron and 14-25 micron regions which are inaccessible or poorly observed from ground-based observatories. Large format mid-infrared detectors sensitive over these wavelengths and operable under moderate backgrounds (~106 photons/s/pixel at R=2000, at 10 microns) are essential for efficient large-area survey imaging and for taking moderate resolution spectra over a large spectral range. Both SOFIA and passively cooled Explorer observatories could benefit from this technology. Current first-light SOFIA instruments use small-format mid-infrared focal plane arrays of sizes 256 × 256 pixels. With the collaboration of Raytheon Infrared Operations, NASA-Ames Research Center has developed and tested the first 1024 × 1024 mid-infrared device suitable for operating under moderate backgrounds: a combination of the ALADDIN III readout multiplexer, cryo-processed for 6 K operation, with Si:As IBC detector material designed for high QE. This device has exhibited low dark current, moderate noise levels, and > 200,000 electron linear well size at 6 K operation. We conclude with suggestions for future device development for optimal performance under moderate background, SOFIA- and low Earth orbit observing conditions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2003
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 4857, Airborne Telescope Systems II, (3 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.458580
Show Author Affiliations
Kimberly A. Ennico, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Thomas P. Greene, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Craig R. McCreight, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Mark E. McKelvey, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Robert E. McMurray Jr., NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Jerry R. Cripe, Raytheon Infrared Operations (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4857:
Airborne Telescope Systems II
Ramsey K. Melugin; Hans-Peter Roeser, Editor(s)

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