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Proceedings Paper

Lunar laser ranging using avalanche photodiode (APD) arrays
Author(s): Jana D. Strasburg; Thomas W. Murphy Jr.; Christopher W. Stubbs; Eric G. Adelberger; D. W. Miller; J. I. Angle
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Paper Abstract

The Apache Point Observatory Lunar Laser-ranging Operation (APOLLO) will improve range measurements to the moon by at least an order-of-magnitude, with the goal of achieving millimeter precision. Lunar ranging provides the most stringent tests of Einstein's strong equivalence principle, as well as placing the tightest constraints on the time evolution of Newton's gravitational constant. At the heart of APOLLO is an integrated array of avalanche photodiodes (APDs) developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratories. These devices are capable of detecting the arrival of a single photon with high temporal precision (< 100 ps), with detection efficiencies as high as 50%. The thin APD arrays have breakdown voltages in the neighborhood of 25 volts, active areas 20, 30, or 40 microns in diameter, placed on 100 micron centers in a square pattern. APOLLO will initially work with a 4×4 array, but may eventually upgrade to a larger format. The potential use of APD array technology in other areas of astronomy is briefly discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 December 2002
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4836, Survey and Other Telescope Technologies and Discoveries, (24 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.459474
Show Author Affiliations
Jana D. Strasburg, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Thomas W. Murphy Jr., Univ. of Washington (United States)
Christopher W. Stubbs, Univ. of Washington (United States)
Eric G. Adelberger, Univ. of Washington (United States)
D. W. Miller, Carleton College (United States)
J. I. Angle, Univ. of Washington (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4836:
Survey and Other Telescope Technologies and Discoveries
J. Anthony Tyson; Sidney Wolff, Editor(s)

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