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11 February 2003 New UV detectors for solar observations
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Abstract
BOLD (Blind to the Optical Light Detectors) is an international initiative dedicated to the development of novel imaging detectors for UV solar observations. It relies on the properties of wide bandgap materials (in particular diamond and Al-Ga-nitrides). The investigation is proposed in view of the Solar Orbiter (S.O.) UV instruments, for which the expected benefits of the new sensors -primarily visible blindness and radiation hardness- will be highly valuable. Despite various advances in the technology of imaging detectors over the last decades, the present UV imagers based on silicon CCDs or microchannel plates exhibit limitations inherent to their actual material and technology. Yet, the utmost spatial resolution, fast temporal cadence, sensitivity, and photometric accuracy will be decisive for the forthcoming solar space missions. The advent of imagers based on wide-bandgap materials will permit new observations and, by simplifying their design, cheaper instruments. As for the Solar Orbiter, the aspiration for wide-bandgap material (WBGM) based UV detectors is still more sensible because the spacecraft will approach the Sun where the heat and the radiation fluxes are high. We describe the motivations, and present the program to achieve revolutionary flight cameras within the Solar Orbiter schedule as well as relevant UV measurements.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
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