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Proceedings Paper

A 4K x 4K HgCdTe astronomical camera enabled by the JWST NIR detector development program
Author(s): Donald N. B. Hall; Gerard Luppino; Klaus W. Hodapp; James D. Garnett; Markus Loose; Majid Zandian
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Paper Abstract

The ambitious science goals of the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) have driven spectacular advances in λco ~ 5um detector technology over the past five years. This paper reviews both the UH/RSC team’s Phase A development and evaluation of 2Kx2K arrays exceeding the detector requirements for JWST’s near infrared instruments and also the hardware integration of these into a 4Kx4K (16Mpxl) close packed mosaic focal plane array housed in an Ultra Low Background test facility. Both individual first generation 2Kx2K SCA’s and 4Kx4K mosaic focal planes have been extensively characterized in the laboratory and, since September 2003, a NIR camera utilizing the 4Kx4K mosaic focal plane has been in use for nearly 100 nights at the UH 2.2 m telescope on Mauna Kea. Typical test results for the first generation 2Kx2K arrays and their integration into 4Kx4K mosaic focal planes are reported. Demonstration of the design concepts and both array and mosaic focal plane performance in actual hardware, as described here, has provided the foundation for design iterations leading to later generations of 2Kx2K arrays and 4Kx4K mosaic focal planes. Four major technology developments leading to first generation hardware demonstrations of both 2Kx2K SCA’s and a 4Kx4K mosaic FPA are reviewed. These are: 1) improvement in test equipment and procedures to characterize the detectors against JWST requirements and goals, primarily at 37K but with the capability to test from 30K to 100K; 2) optimization of λc ~ 5 um MBE HgCdTe material on a CZT substrate for low dark current (goal of 0.003 e-/sec at 37K) with high quantum efficiency, low cross-talk and greatly reduced image persistence; 3) development of the 2Kx2K HAWAII-2RG multiplexer designed specifically to take full advantage of these detector characteristics for a wide range of astronomical applications (and fully compatible with an ASIC controller developed under the JWST Instrument Technology Development initiative) and 4) development of molybdenum SCA carriers allowing modules to be close-butted on three sides and easily installed onto a molybdenum plate to form a 4Kx4K mosaic focal plane. We describe both the improvements in the KSPEC test facility and in test procedures for individual 2Kx2K arrays and the Ultra Low Background (ULB) test facility developed specifically to evaluate 4Kx4K mosaic focal plane assemblies required for the NIRCam instrument. The laboratory test configuration of the ULB facility utilizes multiple shields and internal light sources to achieve background fluxes <1 photon/hour per pixel for λc ~ 5um while providing temperature stability <1mK over periods of weeks. An alternate configuration utilizes fore optics to allow the mosaic FPA module of the ULB facility to be mounted at the Cassegrain focus of the UH 2.2 meter telescope, providing an image scale of 0.25”/pixel over a 17’x17’ field. A cold PK 50 lens cuts off around 1.7 um, limiting the background at wavelengths below 1.65 um (where the array can be used with normal filters and where narrow band filters reduce the background to levels comparable to NIRCam on JWST). Observations at the telescope, which provide the best way of verifying certain JWST requirements and allow direct astronomical characterization of the detectors, are reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2004
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5499, Optical and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy, (29 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.554733
Show Author Affiliations
Donald N. B. Hall, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawaii (United States)
Gerard Luppino, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawaii (United States)
GL Scientific (United States)
Klaus W. Hodapp, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawaii (United States)
James D. Garnett, Rockwell Scientific Co. (United States)
Markus Loose, Rockwell Scientific Co. (United States)
Majid Zandian, Rockwell Scientific Co. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5499:
Optical and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy
James D. Garnett; James W. Beletic, Editor(s)

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