28 July 2010 Characterization of OCam and CCD220: the fastest and most sensitive camera to date for AO wavefront sensing
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Abstract
For the first time, sub-electron read noise has been achieved with a camera suitable for astronomical wavefront-sensing (WFS) applications. The OCam system has demonstrated this performance at 1300 Hz frame rate and with 240×240-pixel frame rate. ESO and JRA2 OPTICON2 have jointly funded e2v technologies to develop a custom CCD for Adaptive Optics (AO) wavefront sensing applications. The device, called CCD220, is a compact Peltier-cooled 240×240 pixel frame-transfer 8-output back-illuminated sensor using the EMCCD technology. This paper demonstrates sub-electron read noise at frame rates from 25 Hz to 1300 Hz and dark current lower than 0.01 e-/pixel/frame. It reports on the comprehensive, quantitative performance characterization of OCam and the CCD220 such as readout noise, dark current, multiplication gain, quantum efficiency, charge transfer efficiency... OCam includes a low noise preamplifier stage, a digital board to generate the clocks and a microcontroller. The data acquisition system includes a user friendly timer file editor to generate any type of clocking scheme. A second version of OCam, called OCam2, was designed offering enhanced performances, a completely sealed camera package and an additional Peltier stage to facilitate operation on a telescope or environmentally rugged applications. OCam2 offers two types of built-in data link to the Real Time Computer: the CameraLink industry standard interface and various fiber link options like the sFPDP interface. OCam2 includes also a modified mechanical design to ease the integration of microlens arrays for use of this camera in all types of wavefront sensing AO system. The front cover of OCam2 can be customized to include a microlens exchange mechanism.
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Philippe Feautrier, Jean-Luc Gach, Philippe Balard, Christian Guillaume, Mark Downing, Norbert Hubin, Eric Stadler, Yves Magnard, Michael Skegg, Mark Robbins, Sandy Denney, Wolfgang Suske, Paul Jorden, Patrick Wheeler, Peter Pool, Ray Bell, David Burt, Ian Davies, Javier Reyes, Manfred Meyer, Dietrich Baade, Markus Kasper, Robin Arsenault, Thierry Fusco, José Javier Diaz-Garcia, "Characterization of OCam and CCD220: the fastest and most sensitive camera to date for AO wavefront sensing", Proc. SPIE 7736, Adaptive Optics Systems II, 77360Z (28 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.856401; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.856401
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