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25 September 2012 AQUARIUS, the next generation mid-IR detector for ground-based astronomy
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ESO has recently funded the development of the AQUARIUS detector at Raytheon Vision Systems, a new mega-pixel Si:As Impurity Band Conduction array for use in ground based astronomical applications at wavelengths between 3 – 28 μm. The array has been designed to have low noise, low dark current, switchable gain and be read out at very high frame rates. It has 64 individual outputs capable of pixel read rates of 3MHz, implying continuous data-rates in excess of 300 Mbytes/second. It is scheduled for deployment into the VISIR instrument at the VLT in 2012, for next generation VLTI instruments and base-lined for METIS, the mid-IR candidate instrument for the E-ELT. A new mid-IR test facility has been developed for AQUARIUS detector development which includes a low thermal background cryostat, high speed cryogenic pre-amplification and high speed data acquisition and detector operation at 5K. We report on all the major performance aspects of this new detector including conversion gain, read noise, dark generation rate, linearity, well capacity, pixel operability, low frequency noise, persistence and electrical cross-talk. We describe the many possible readout modes of this detector and their application. We also report on external issues with the operation of these detectors at such low temperatures. Finally we report on the electronic developments required to operate such a detector at the required high data rates and in a typical mid-IR instrument.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Derek Ives, Gert Finger, Gerd Jakob, Siegfried Eschbaumer, Leander Mehrgan, Manfred Meyer, and Joerg Steigmeier "AQUARIUS, the next generation mid-IR detector for ground-based astronomy", Proc. SPIE 8453, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V, 845312 (25 September 2012);


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