J. Phys. IV France
Volume 12, Numéro 3, May 2002
Page(s) 193 - 201

J. Phys. IV France
12 (2002) Pr3-193
DOI: 10.1051/jp420020066

Superconducting cameras for optical astronomy

D.D.E. Martin, P.Verhoeve, J.H.J. de Bruijne, A.P. Reynolds, A. Van Dordrecht, J. Verveer, J. Page, N. Rando and A. Peacock

Science payload and Technology Division, Research and Science Support Department of the European Space Agency, ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 Noordwijk, The Netherlands

superconducting Tunnel junctions (STJs) have been extensively investigated it as photon detectors covering the range from near-infrared to x-ray energies. A $6\times 6$ array of Tantalum junctions has performed multiple astronomical observations of optical sources using the wiliam Herschel 4.2m telescope at La Palma. Following the success of this programme, we are now developing a second generation camera. The goals of this programme are to increase the field of view of the instrument from " $4\times 4$" to " $5\times9$", to optimize IR rejection filters, possibly extending the `red' response to ~ lum and to increase the electronics readout speed. For these purposes, we are developing a new Superconducting Tunnel Junction Array consisting of $10\times 12$ Tantalum/Aluminium devices as well as an important readout system. In this paper, we review the instrument's architecture and describe the performance of the new detector

© EDP Sciences 2002