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17 September 1998 Development of a superconducting tunnel junction camera for ground-based optical astronomy
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The development of an optical camera based on superconducting tunnel junctions has now reached a stage where practical applications in optical or UV astronomy can be considered. A prototype cryogenic camera (named S-Cam) has been developed, based on a high quantum efficiency 6 X 6 detector array of tantalum Josephson junctions, and operating at a temperature of about 0.4 K. This paper describes the general characteristics of the camera, sensitive in the waveband from 350 to 700 nm and designed to be installed in 1998 at the Nasmyth focus of the William Herschel Telescope in La Palma, Spain. In addition to the performance of the overall system, the preliminary detector unit test results will also be presented. The present S-Cam system performance is discussed in view of future versions of the camera. Provided the field coverage of these cameras can be extended through the development of larger format detector arrays and adequate read-out electronics, they have the potential to provide a significant additional tool for optical and UV astronomy in the next century.
© (1998) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Nicola Rando, Anthony J. Peacock, S. Andersson, Bernard Collaudin, Philippe Gondoin, J. Verveer, Peter Verhoeve, D. J. Goldie, and R. Hart "Development of a superconducting tunnel junction camera for ground-based optical astronomy", Proc. SPIE 3435, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments VIII, (17 September 1998);


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