The PixFEL collaboration has developed the building blocks for an X-ray imager to be used in applications at FELs. In particular, slim edge pixel detectors with high detection efficiency over a broad energy range, from 1 to 12 keV, have been developed. Moreover, a multichannel readout chip, called PFM2 (PixFEL front-end Matrix 2) and consisting of 32 × 32 cells, has been designed and fabricated in a 65 nm CMOS technology. The pixel pitch is 110 μm, the overall area is around 16 mm2. In the chip, different solutions have been implemented for the readout channel, which includes a charge sensitive amplifier (CSA) with dynamic signal compression, a time-variant shaper and an A-to-D converter with a 10 bit resolution. The CSA can be configured in four different gain modes, so as to comply with photon energies in the 1 to 10 keV range. The paper will describe in detail the channel architecture and present the results from the characterization of PFM2. It will discuss the design of a new version of the chip, called PFM3, suitable for post-processing with peripheral, under-pad through silicon vias (TSVs), which are needed to develop four-side buttable chips and cover large surfaces with minimum inactive area.
In the frame of the development of new Electrical Ground Support Equipment (EGSE) for the testing phase of a spacecraft and its subsystems, the Engineering Services Section, within the Testing Division, Mechanical Systems Department, at the European Space and Technology Centre (ESTEC), has started an investigation aiming to verify the performances of a contact-less measurement system based on a high-speed camera and image processing techniques. This shall be used as an additional tool during the future test campaigns to be held at ESTEC, every time a non-intrusive GSE is required. The system is based on a PhotronTM High Speed System, composed of a High Speed camera connected to its frame-grabber via a Panel LinkTM bus, and a SW interface for the camera control.
Derivative Filters and techniques for edge detection, such as the Sobel, Prewitt and Laplace algorithms, have been used for the image enhancement and processing during several tests campaigns, which have been held to evaluate the measurement system. The improvement of the detection of the movement of the specimen has been achieved by sticking, where possible, one or more optical targets over the surface of the test article. The targets are of two types: for ambient and vacuum qualified.
The performances of the measuring system have been evaluated and are summarized in this paper. The limitations of the proposed tool have been assessed, together with the identifications of the possible scenarios where this system would be useful and could be applied to increase the effectiveness of the verification phase of a spacecraft-subsystem.