Directly deposited optical-blocking filters (DD OBFs) have the potential to improve filter performance and lower risk and cost for future x-ray imaging spectroscopy missions. However, they have not been fully characterized on high-performance charge coupled devices (CCDs). This paper reports the results of DD OBFs processed on high-performance photon-counting CCDs. It is found that CCD performance is not degraded by deposition of such filters. X-ray and optical transmission through the OBF is characterized and found to match theoretical expectation. Light-leaks through pinholes and the side and back surfaces are found to lower the optical extinction ratio; various coating processes are developed to resolve these issues.
The Regolith x-ray Imaging Spectrometer (REXIS) is a coded-aperture soft x-ray imaging instrument on the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to be launched in 2016. The spacecraft will fly to and orbit the near-Earth asteroid Bennu, while REXIS maps the elemental distribution on the asteroid using x-ray fluorescence. The detector consists of a 2×2 array of backilluminated 1k×1k frame transfer CCDs with a flight heritage to Suzaku and Chandra. The back surface has a thin p+-doped layer deposited by molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE) for maximum quantum efficiency and energy resolution at low x-ray energies. The CCDs also feature an integrated optical-blocking filter (OBF) to suppress visible and near-infrared light. The OBF is an aluminum film deposited directly on the CCD back surface and is mechanically more robust and less absorptive of x-rays than the conventional free-standing aluminum-coated polymer films. The CCDs have charge transfer inefficiencies of less than 10-6, and dark current of 1e-/pixel/second at the REXIS operating temperature of –60 °C. The resulting spectral resolution is 115 eV at 2 KeV. The extinction ratio of the filter is ~1012 at 625 nm.
In order to meet current and emerging needs for remote passive standoff detection of chemical agent threats, MIT Lincoln Laboratory has developed a Wide Area Chemical Sensor (WACS) testbed. A design study helped define the initial concept, guided by current standoff sensor mission requirements. Several variants of this initial design have since been proposed to target other applications within the defense community. The design relies on several enabling technologies required for successful implementation. The primary spectral component is a Wedged Interferometric Spectrometer (WIS) capable of imaging in the LWIR with spectral resolutions as narrow as 4 cm-1. A novel scanning optic will enhance the ability of this sensor to scan over large areas of concern with a compact, rugged design. In this paper, we shall discuss our design, development, and calibration process for this system as well as recent testbed measurements that validate the sensor concept.