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Proceedings Paper

Iqueye: a single-photon counting very high-speed photometer for the ESO 3.5m NTT
Author(s): C. Barbieri; G. Naletto; I. Capraro; T. Occhipinti; E. Verroi; P. Zoccarato; S. Gradari; M. Barbieri; C. Germana; L. Zampieri; E. Giro; V. Da Deppo; A. Di Paola; C. Facchinetti; P. Bolli; C. Pernechele; S. Billotta; G. Bonanno; M. Belluso; F. Messina; M. Zaccariotto
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Paper Abstract

Iqueye is a single photon counting very high speed photometer built for the ESO 3.5m New Technology Telescope (NTT) in La Silla (Chile) as prototype of a 'quantum' photometer for the 42m European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The optics of Iqueye splits the telescope pupil into four portions, each feeding a Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) operated in Geiger mode. The SPADs sensitive area has a diameter of 100 μm, with a quantum efficiency better than 55% at 500 nm, and a dark count less than 50 Hz. The quenching circuit and temperature control are integrated in each module. A time-to-digital converter (TDC) board, controlled by a rubidium oscillator plus a GPS receiver, time tags the pulses from the 4 channels. The individual times are stored in a 2 TeraByte memory. Iqueye can run continuously for hours, handling count rates up to 8 MHz, with a final absolute accuracy of each time tag better that 0.5 ns. A first very successful run was performed in Jan 2009; both very faint and very bright stars were observed, demonstrating the high photometric quality of the instrument. The first run allowed also to identify some opto-mechanical improvements, which have been implemented for a second run performed in Dec 2009. The present paper will describe the first version, the improvements implemented in the second one, and some of the obtained astronomical results.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 April 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7681, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques IV, 768110 (27 April 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.850659
Show Author Affiliations
C. Barbieri, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
G. Naletto, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
CNR-IFN (Italy)
I. Capraro, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
T. Occhipinti, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
E. Verroi, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
P. Zoccarato, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
CISAS, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
S. Gradari, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
CISAS, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
M. Barbieri, INAF (Italy)
C. Germana, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
L. Zampieri, INAF (Italy)
E. Giro, INAF (Italy)
V. Da Deppo, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
CNR-IFN (Italy)
A. Di Paola, INAF (Italy)
C. Facchinetti, Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (Italy)
P. Bolli, INAF (Italy)
C. Pernechele, INAF (Italy)
S. Billotta, INAF (Italy)
G. Bonanno, INAF (Italy)
M. Belluso, INAF (Italy)
F. Messina, INAF (Italy)
M. Zaccariotto, CISAS, Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)
Univ. degli Studi di Padova (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7681:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques IV
Mark A. Itzler; Joe C. Campbell, Editor(s)

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