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Proceedings Paper

Silicon photomultipliers detectors for next generation high-energy space telescopes
Author(s): K. Lacombe; J. Knödlseder; S. Delaigue; T. Gimenez; B. Houret; V. Mourey; P. Ramon; C. Virmontois
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Paper Abstract

Photon detection is a central element of any high-energy astronomy instrumentation. One classical setup that has proven successful in many missions is the combination of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) with scintillators, converting incoming high-energy photons into visible light, which in turn is converted in an electrical impulse. Although being extremely sensitive and rapid, PMTs have the drawback of being bulky, fragile, and require a high-voltage power supply of up to several thousand volts. Recent technological advances in the development of silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) make them a promising alternative to PMTs in essentially all their applications. We have started a RD program to assess the possibility of using SiPMs for space-based applications in the domain of high-energy astronomy. We will present results of our characterization studies of SiPMs from 3 manufacturers. Each SiPM detector has been tested inside a dedicated vacuum chamber and at low temperature to assess its performance in a representative space environment. Irradiation tests are scheduled to understand the susceptibility of SiPM to radiation damage. After comparison, we will select a baseline detector and design a specific front-end electronics and mechanical system. Furthermore, we plan to develop a low noise voltage power supply that ensures the stability of the SiPMs and to study their coupling to scintillators. Finally, our ultimate goal is to qualify the system for a space Technical Readiness Level of 5.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2016
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9968, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XVIII, 99681F (30 September 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2238113
Show Author Affiliations
K. Lacombe, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Univ. of Toulouse (France)
J. Knödlseder, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Univ. of Toulouse (France)
S. Delaigue, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Univ. of Toulouse (France)
T. Gimenez, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)
B. Houret, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Univ. of Toulouse (France)
V. Mourey, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Univ. of Toulouse (France)
P. Ramon, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)
Univ. of Toulouse (France)
C. Virmontois, Ctr. National d'Études Spatiales (France)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9968:
Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XVIII
Ralph B. James; Michael Fiederle; Arnold Burger; Larry Franks, Editor(s)

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