The development of a high purity germanium (HPGe) double sided strip detector prototype for X-ray astronomy is
presented. The proposed design will cover the energy domain between 1 and 200 keV, and consists of a 4x4x1cm bulk
with contacts on each side orthogonally segmented into 100 strips of 350μm width, with 50μm gap between strips. Both
spectrometry and imaging capabilities have been taken into account in the design of the detector: on one hand, the use of
germanium guarantees high spectral resolution; on the other hand, finely segmented contacts provide high precision on
the position determination in the plane of the detector. In addition, the depth of the interactions can be estimated by
looking at the difference of pulse raise time between the anode and the cathode. Pulse shape analysis and advanced
algorithms are used for this purpose, obtaining a three-dimension localization of the point of impact of the photons.
Furthermore, multiple interactions occurring simultaneously can be located, which makes the detector a suitable
instrument for polarization measurements. The detection system relies on the extensive use of digital signal processing,
with an early sampling of the signal at the output of the charge amplifier. This paper presents the measurement chain,
including the detector itself, the electronic readout system and the signal processing methods that have been developped.
The main results of the laboratory tests carried out at this stage are presented, and finally the measured performances of
the detector are discussed.