25 July 2014 Cross strip anode readouts for large format, photon counting microchannel plate detectors: developing flight qualified prototypes of the detector and electronics
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Abstract
Photon counting microchannel plate (MCP) imagers have been the detector of choice for most UV astronomical missions over the last two decades (e.g. EUVE, FUSE, COS on Hubble etc.). Over this duration, improvements in the MCP laboratory readout technology have resulted in better spatial resolution (x10), temporal resolution (x1000) and output event rate (x100), all the while operating at lower gain (x 10) resulting in lower high voltage requirements and longer MCP lifetimes. One such technology is the parallel cross strip (PXS) readout. Laboratory versions of PXS electronics have demonstrated < 20 μm FWHM spatial resolution, count rates on the order of 2 MHz, and temporal resolution of ~ 1ns. In 2012 our group at U.C. Berkeley, along with our partners at the U. Hawaii, received a Strategic Astrophysics Technology grant to raise the TRL of the PXS detector and electronics from 4 to 6 by replacing most of the high powered electronics with application specific integrated circuits (ASICs) which will lower the power, mass and volume requirements of the PXS detector. We were also tasked to design and fabricate a "standard" 50mm square active area MCP detector incorporating these electronics that can be environmentally qualified for flight (temperature, vacuum, vibration). The first ASICs designed for this program have been fabricated and are undergoing testing. We present the latest progress on these ASIC designs and performance and show imaging results from the new 50 x 50 mm XS detector.
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John Vallerga, John Vallerga, Rick Raffanti, Rick Raffanti, Michael Cooney, Michael Cooney, Harley Cumming, Harley Cumming, Gary Varner, Gary Varner, Andrej Seljak, Andrej Seljak, } "Cross strip anode readouts for large format, photon counting microchannel plate detectors: developing flight qualified prototypes of the detector and electronics", Proc. SPIE 9144, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 91443J (25 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2058412; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2058412
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