Abstract

We describe the implementation of an imaging photon detector for the photon address digital detector system (PADDS). The concept is based on combining an image intensifier with a position-sensitive photomultiplier tube with crossed-wire anodes. Particular emphasis is placed on modularity and flexibility. A digital signal processor evaluates events in real time. The compact detector system is able to process photon events with high precision in time with only moderate computing power of the host system. Laboratory experiments show the feasibility of the approach presented for observing rapidly varying sources at low light levels.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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  1. T. Gonsiorowski, “A new product for photon-limited imaging,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 626–630 (1986).
    [CrossRef]
  2. M. Pruksch, “PADDs: status and future of a cost effective photon imaging detector,” in Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation Detectors, M. Iye, A. F. Moorwood, eds., Proc. SPIE4008 (to be published).
  3. J. G. Timothy, J. S. Morgan, “Imaging by time-tagging photons with the multianode microchannel array detector system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 654–659 (1986).
    [CrossRef]
  4. C. Papaliolios, P. Nisenson, S. Ebstein, “Speckle imaging with the PAPA detector,” Appl. Opt. 24, 287–292 (1985).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
    [CrossRef]
  6. I. McWhirter, D. Rees, A. H. Greenaway, “Miniature imaging photon detectors III: an assessment of the performance of the resistive anode IPD,” J. Phys. E. 15, 145–150 (1982).
    [CrossRef]
  7. O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
    [CrossRef]
  8. M. Pruksch, F. Fleischmann, “Positive iterative deconvolution with energy conservation,” Comput. Phys. 12, 182–189 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  9. G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
  10. J. S. Morgan, “Speckle imaging with the MAMA detector,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry, F. Merkle, ed., Proceedings of NOAO-ESO Conference (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1988), pp. 381–391.
  11. L. F. Rodríguez, N. Sosa, F. Rosa, J. J. Fuensalida, “Response analysis of a photon counting device (IPD) for speckle techniques,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry II, J. M. Beckers, F. Merkle, eds., ESO Conferences and Workshop Proceedings No. 29 (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1991), pp. 621–628.
  12. B. Wirnitzer, “Bispectral analysis at low light levels and astronomical speckle masking,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 14–21 (1985).
    [CrossRef]

1998

M. Pruksch, F. Fleischmann, “Positive iterative deconvolution with energy conservation,” Comput. Phys. 12, 182–189 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1991

G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
[CrossRef]

1985

1982

I. McWhirter, D. Rees, A. H. Greenaway, “Miniature imaging photon detectors III: an assessment of the performance of the resistive anode IPD,” J. Phys. E. 15, 145–150 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Allen, R. G.

R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Bowyer, S.

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Chakrabarti, S.

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Cromwell, R. H.

R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Ebstein, S.

Fleischmann, F.

M. Pruksch, F. Fleischmann, “Positive iterative deconvolution with energy conservation,” Comput. Phys. 12, 182–189 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Fraser, G. W.

G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Fuensalida, J. J.

L. F. Rodríguez, N. Sosa, F. Rosa, J. J. Fuensalida, “Response analysis of a photon counting device (IPD) for speckle techniques,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry II, J. M. Beckers, F. Merkle, eds., ESO Conferences and Workshop Proceedings No. 29 (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1991), pp. 621–628.

Gonsiorowski, T.

T. Gonsiorowski, “A new product for photon-limited imaging,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 626–630 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Greenaway, A. H.

I. McWhirter, D. Rees, A. H. Greenaway, “Miniature imaging photon detectors III: an assessment of the performance of the resistive anode IPD,” J. Phys. E. 15, 145–150 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Lampton, M.

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Lees, J. E.

G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Liebert, J. W.

R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Macklin, R. H.

R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Malina, R. F.

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

McWhirter, I.

I. McWhirter, D. Rees, A. H. Greenaway, “Miniature imaging photon detectors III: an assessment of the performance of the resistive anode IPD,” J. Phys. E. 15, 145–150 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Morgan, J. S.

J. G. Timothy, J. S. Morgan, “Imaging by time-tagging photons with the multianode microchannel array detector system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 654–659 (1986).
[CrossRef]

J. S. Morgan, “Speckle imaging with the MAMA detector,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry, F. Merkle, ed., Proceedings of NOAO-ESO Conference (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1988), pp. 381–391.

Nisenson, P.

Pain, M. T.

G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Papaliolios, C.

Pearson, J. F.

G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Pruksch, M.

M. Pruksch, F. Fleischmann, “Positive iterative deconvolution with energy conservation,” Comput. Phys. 12, 182–189 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. Pruksch, “PADDs: status and future of a cost effective photon imaging detector,” in Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation Detectors, M. Iye, A. F. Moorwood, eds., Proc. SPIE4008 (to be published).

Rees, D.

I. McWhirter, D. Rees, A. H. Greenaway, “Miniature imaging photon detectors III: an assessment of the performance of the resistive anode IPD,” J. Phys. E. 15, 145–150 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Rodríguez, L. F.

L. F. Rodríguez, N. Sosa, F. Rosa, J. J. Fuensalida, “Response analysis of a photon counting device (IPD) for speckle techniques,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry II, J. M. Beckers, F. Merkle, eds., ESO Conferences and Workshop Proceedings No. 29 (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1991), pp. 621–628.

Rosa, F.

L. F. Rodríguez, N. Sosa, F. Rosa, J. J. Fuensalida, “Response analysis of a photon counting device (IPD) for speckle techniques,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry II, J. M. Beckers, F. Merkle, eds., ESO Conferences and Workshop Proceedings No. 29 (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1991), pp. 621–628.

Siegmund, O. H. W.

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Sosa, N.

L. F. Rodríguez, N. Sosa, F. Rosa, J. J. Fuensalida, “Response analysis of a photon counting device (IPD) for speckle techniques,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry II, J. M. Beckers, F. Merkle, eds., ESO Conferences and Workshop Proceedings No. 29 (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1991), pp. 621–628.

Stockman, H. S.

R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
[CrossRef]

Timothy, J. G.

J. G. Timothy, J. S. Morgan, “Imaging by time-tagging photons with the multianode microchannel array detector system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 654–659 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Vallerga, J.

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Wirnitzer, B.

Appl. Opt.

Comput. Phys.

M. Pruksch, F. Fleischmann, “Positive iterative deconvolution with energy conservation,” Comput. Phys. 12, 182–189 (1998).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A

J. Phys. E.

I. McWhirter, D. Rees, A. H. Greenaway, “Miniature imaging photon detectors III: an assessment of the performance of the resistive anode IPD,” J. Phys. E. 15, 145–150 (1982).
[CrossRef]

Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A

G. W. Fraser, M. T. Pain, J. E. Lees, J. F. Pearson, “The operation of microchannel plates at high count rates,” Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. A 306, 247–260 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Other

J. S. Morgan, “Speckle imaging with the MAMA detector,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry, F. Merkle, ed., Proceedings of NOAO-ESO Conference (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1988), pp. 381–391.

L. F. Rodríguez, N. Sosa, F. Rosa, J. J. Fuensalida, “Response analysis of a photon counting device (IPD) for speckle techniques,” in High-Resolution Imaging by Interferometry II, J. M. Beckers, F. Merkle, eds., ESO Conferences and Workshop Proceedings No. 29 (European Southern Observatory, Garching, 1991), pp. 621–628.

R. G. Allen, R. H. Cromwell, J. W. Liebert, R. H. Macklin, H. S. Stockman, “The Steward Observatory intensified photon-counting reticon system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy V, A. Boksenberg, D. L. Crawford, eds., Proc. SPIE445, 168–175 (1983).
[CrossRef]

T. Gonsiorowski, “A new product for photon-limited imaging,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 626–630 (1986).
[CrossRef]

M. Pruksch, “PADDs: status and future of a cost effective photon imaging detector,” in Optical and IR Telescope Instrumentation Detectors, M. Iye, A. F. Moorwood, eds., Proc. SPIE4008 (to be published).

J. G. Timothy, J. S. Morgan, “Imaging by time-tagging photons with the multianode microchannel array detector system,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 654–659 (1986).
[CrossRef]

O. H. W. Siegmund, M. Lampton, S. Chakrabarti, J. Vallerga, S. Bowyer, R. F. Malina, “Application of wedge and strip image readout systems to detectors for astronomy,” in Instrumentation in Astronomy VI, D. L. Crawford, ed., Proc. SPIE627, 660–665 (1986).
[CrossRef]

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Figures (18)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Crossed-wire anodes are connected to a chain of external resistors (R chain). The amount of the charge sensed at the terminals X l , X r , Y t , and Y b allows for the centroid of the cloud of electrons to be determined. The linear position is sensed separately in both horizontal and vertical directions.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Signal flow in PADDS. A photon passing through the input optics is multiplied by an image intensifier; an intermediate lens widens the spot for the position-sensitive PMT; the PMT amplifies the signal and distributes the resulting charge to two horizontal and two vertical channels corresponding to the centroid of the spot; an operational amplifier converts the incoming charge to a voltage, which is digitalized at a constant sampling rate; a DSP determines the time and position of the detected photon; and valid events are sent to a host.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Optical setup in PADDS. The incoming photon is multiplied by an image intensifier, which can be exchanged to match the wavelength under observation; a removable mirror is used to control the output of the image intensifier; the coarse resolution of the position-sensitive PMT is remedied by the magnification and blurring of the light spot; and the amplified charge is collected by horizontal and vertical wire anodes (see also Fig. 1).

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Proximity focus image intensifier is housed in a rugged and easily exchangeable module. For the reduction of dark current the 25-mm-diameter active area is reduced by a 6-mm aperture on the photocathode input window and by an 8-mm aperture on the phosphor output window.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Setup of electronics in PADDS. In correspondence to the centroid of the spot the charge is split by a chain of resistors, which are connected to the wire anodes (see Fig. 3); at the two horizontal and two vertical terminals, the charge is converted into a voltage, which is integrated and digitalized at a constant sampling rate; the resulting four data streams are analyzed by a DSP to determine the time and position of a detected photon; and valid events are sent to a host. Software for the DSP is supplied by an eraseable, programmable read-only memory (EPROM), which is programmed in a cross-development system.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

PADDS ready for observations. Mounted to the left-hand side of the flange plate is the lens f = 55 mm, 1:2.8 used for all the laboratory experiments. To the right-hand side of the flange plate the image intensifier multiplies the incoming photons. A lens f = 16 mm, 1:1.4 in the connecting pipe magnifies the spot. On the far right-hand side the position-sensitive PMT is housed in a box together with all the electronic components necessary to process the analog charge pulses. The DSP evaluates the position, time, and intensity of the events from a continuous stream of digital values delivered by the analog-to-digital converters.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Section of 188 samples showing the digitalized intensities sensed at the terminals X l , X r , Y t , and Y b at 375,000 samples/s. Two events at different locations are detected at offset times 0.267107 and 0.267371 s. A small bias and the exponential decay of the pulses are visible.

Fig. 8
Fig. 8

Flow chart of algorithm used for determination of event positions. A sample contains the digitalized intensities of the four channels X l , X r , Y t , and Y b at one instant of time. For compare operations the four values of a sample are added.

Fig. 9
Fig. 9

Shown are 308,535 events of point source integrated over 121.843 s at room temperature and collected on a 1024 × 1024 raster. The maximum of the point-spread function at (619; 617) is 4327 counts and shows a FWHM of approximately 7 pixels. Since the size of a pixel is 10 µm, the FWHM is approximately 70 µm.

Fig. 10
Fig. 10

Number of detected events/s of a constant point source illuminating different apertures of the lens (f = 55 mm, 1:2.8) mounted to PADDS. Crosses, mean of the measured data; bars, standard deviation. Solid curve, polynomial fit to the observed data; dashed line, expected rates as extrapolated from the low event data. The MCP is able to amplify as many as 100 events/s without significant event losses.

Fig. 11
Fig. 11

Number of detected events/s of a constant light source illuminating different apertures of the lens (f = 55 mm, 1:2.8) mounted to PADDS. Crosses, measured data; bars, event losses by the DSP. Solid curve, polynomial fit to the observed data; dashed line, expected rates as extrapolated from the low event data. The DSP is able to process as many as 5900 events/s without event losses and determines the losses to as many as 15,000 events/s.

Fig. 12
Fig. 12

Histogram of the intensity distribution of events at room temperature (solid curve) and at 273 K (dashed curve). For the intensity of an event the sum of the channels X l + X r + Y t + Y b is calculated. At low intensities an exponential function is built up by dark events from within the MCP. These events are weaker than the events from the photocathode, the latter being represented by the Gaussian distribution near 2600.

Fig. 13
Fig. 13

Long-time exposure of a rectangular grid of 32 × 32 1.1-mm holes spaced by 5 mm in each direction. For the laboratory experiments the grid is illuminated by a sodium-vapor lamp or an incandescent lamp. The exposure shows a pincushion distortion in the center and a barrel distortion toward peripheral regions.

Fig. 14
Fig. 14

Flat field of PADDS collected on a 64 × 64 raster. Owing to the distortions introduced by the apertures of the intermediate lens, a higher sensitivity is shown at the edge of the field and at the center.

Fig. 15
Fig. 15

Light curve of the grid illuminated by a sodium-vapor lamp (solid curve) and by an incandescent one (dashed curve) collected with a resolution of 1 ms. Intensity minima equally spaced at 10-ms intervals are the direct consequence of the 50-Hz ac power supply used for each of the lamps. The difference in the form of the signals is hidden in the low SNR.

Fig. 16
Fig. 16

Autocorrelation of the grid illuminated by sodium-vapor lamp (solid curve) and illuminated by incandescent one (dashed curve). The autocorrelation is shown with the photon bias and constant contributions removed and proves that the signals are periodic and differ in their form.

Fig. 17
Fig. 17

Coherently added and normalized pulse of the sodium-vapor lamp (solid curve) and of the incandescent one (dashed curve); sin2t/0.02) ∝ ac power supply (dotted curve). As expected the incandescent lamp emits light in a sinusoidal form. Because of the thermal capacity of the wire, the incandescent lamp emits photons when no power is supplied. In contrast, the sodium-vapor lamp emits light only when power is supplied. It saturates at a certain level, which is defined by the choke coil used in this lamp.

Fig. 18
Fig. 18

Here 63,242 events are shown as dots collected over a time of 1544.37 s. The events originated from a LED that was modulated by rectangular pulses of 16.5-ms duration at a rate of one per 33 ms. The blinking LED and the detector used separate quartz oscillators. The density of the dots shows the relative accuracy and the relative stability of the oscillators in excess of 10-8 s.

Tables (2)

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Table 1 Characteristics of Imaging Photon Detectors

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Table 2 Additional Characteristics of Imaging Photon Detectors

Equations (3)

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XY=Xl-XrXl+XrYt-YbYt+Yb,
χrel  1Xl+Xr+Yt+Yb1/2,
Xl+Xr+Yt+Yb<Imax.

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