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Proceedings Paper

SSPM-based high-speed infrared photometer for astronomy
Author(s): Stephen S. Eikenberry; Giovanni G. Fazio; Scott M. Ransom
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Paper Abstract

We describe the design, operation, and performance of a new high-speed infrared photometer using the solid-state photomultiplier (SSPM) detector. The SSPM was developed by Rockwell International Science Center and has single-photon counting capability over the 0.4 - 28 micron wavelength range, intrinsic time response of order 1 ns, and low detector noise (Petroff, et al., 1987). We have operated a 200 X 200-micron back-illuminated SSPM in a liquid-helium cooled dewar with a room-temperature transimpedance amplifier output. Single photon pulses can be easily distinguished above the amplifier noise. The individual photon pulses are binned at a selectable time resolution ranging from 5 microsecond(s) to 64 ms, and then written to Exabyte tape. In the first astronomical application of such a device, we have made observations of the Crab Nebula pulsar and Her X-1 at near-infrared wavelengths (J-, H- , and K-bands), and we present the instrument sensitivities established by these observations. We discuss other astronomical observations which are either planned or currently underway. Finally, we present design specifications and predicted performances for a second-generation SSPM high-speed infrared photometer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 1995
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2475, Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy, (6 June 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.211258
Show Author Affiliations
Stephen S. Eikenberry, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Giovanni G. Fazio, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Scott M. Ransom, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2475:
Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy
Albert M. Fowler, Editor(s)

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