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Proceedings Paper

Development of an ultraviolet proportional counter with potential for faint FUV line emission observations
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Paper Abstract

We present the results of developing a Lyman alpha blind detector for (λ 1000-1100 Å). This detector has potential applications to astrophysical FUV emission observations, particularly the O VI doublet at 1037.62 and 1031.93 Å. By filling the detector with a gas whose ionization potential is above the energy of the bright Lyα airglow line at 10.2eV we hoped to produce an FUV detector that is Lyα blind. Propane (C3H8 ) and acetylene (C2H2) were tested as potential gas fillers. Both gases were found to have significant sensitivity to the Lyα line, either because of impurities in the gas or from dissociation products formed from Lyα photons, and therefore the detector did not provide the ~107 suppression of Lyα that is necessary to directly detect faint, diffuse FUV emission. When filled with acetylene the detector is 13 times more sensitive to Ar 1067 Å (a proxy for the O VI 1038 and 1032 Å doublet lines) than to Lyα and when filled with propane the detector is 3 times more sensitive to the argon line. The detector has a quantum efficiency of about 7% at 1067 Å with either gas and may hold promise for a completely Lyα blind FUV detector if a suitable gas is found.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 August 2009
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7435, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XVI, 74350N (21 August 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.828482
Show Author Affiliations
Kasandra K. J. O'Malia, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
Matthew N. Beasley, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)
James C. Green, Univ. of Colorado at Boulder (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7435:
UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XVI
Oswald H. Siegmund, Editor(s)

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