Astrophysical studies require accurate, sensitive and fast detectors to detect faint sources with high variability. Recently an array of Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPAD), SPADA, has been developed. This array is suitable for competitive adaptive optics operations and fast transient image acquisition at a fraction of the current cost of imaging arrays. The fabricated solid-state photon counters are rugged, easily integrated with the optics, free from readout noise, and have very fast frame rates (> 10 kHz, for visible corrections) with nanosecond electronic gating. In this paper, the following are described: the development of silicon monolithic arrays of 60 photon-counters, the detection electronics (based on integrated active quenching circuits for each pixel of the array), the real-time data-processing board implemented into FPGA and some aspects of the mechanical housing.
Kluwer Academic Publishers
1 Jan 2005
Volume: 19 Issue: 1-3 Pages: 163-168