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Proceedings Paper

Space telescope focal planes: history and future technology directions
Author(s): D. A. Dorn; M. M. Blouke; S. McMuldroch; S. Franka; W. Burmester; R. H. Philbrick
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Paper Abstract

The capabilities and performance of focal plane subsystems used in astronomical space telescopes have increased significantly over the last 45 years. Significant gains have been made in format size, sensitivity, and spectral range coverage. This paper outlines the history of UV, visible, and IR astronomy missions occurring over this time period and describes the focal planes used. We also discuss the progression of the associated detector and focal plane technology during this timeframe. Although there have been significant gains over the last 45 years, there is still both the promise and need for continued improvement. Several missions over the next few years will use new and innovative technologies. In this paper, we describe upcoming missions and how technological breakthroughs in detectors, focal plane packaging, and readout electronics will extend the reach of science. Finally, we conclude by describing how these technologies will mature over the next 10 years.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5902, Focal Plane Arrays for Space Telescopes II, 590202 (25 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.619905
Show Author Affiliations
D. A. Dorn, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
M. M. Blouke, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
S. McMuldroch, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
S. Franka, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
W. Burmester, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
R. H. Philbrick, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5902:
Focal Plane Arrays for Space Telescopes II
Thomas J. Grycewicz; Cheryl J. Marshall, Editor(s)

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