16 September 2015 Maturing CCD photon-counting technology for space flight
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Abstract
This paper discusses charge blooming and starlight saturation – two potential technical problems – when using an Electron Multiplying Charge Coupled Device (EMCCD) type detector in a high-contrast instrument for imaging exoplanets. These problems especially affect an interferometric type coronagraph – coronagraphs that do not use a mask to physically block starlight in the science channel of the instrument. These problems are presented using images taken with a commercial Princeton Instrument EMCCD camera in the Goddard Space Flight Center’s (GSFC), Interferometric Coronagraph facility. In addition, this paper discusses techniques to overcome such problems. This paper also discusses the development and architecture of a Field Programmable Gate Array and Digital-to-Analog Converter based shaped clock controller for a photon-counting EMCCD camera. The discussion contained here will inform high-contrast imaging groups in their work with EMCCD detectors.
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Udayan Mallik, Richard Lyon, Peter Petrone, Michael McElwain, Dominic Benford, Mark Clampin, and Brian HIcks "Maturing CCD photon-counting technology for space flight", Proc. SPIE 9605, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VII, 960515 (16 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2189904; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2189904
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