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5 March 2003 Large Format Si:As IBC Array Performance for NGST and Future IR Space Telescope Applications
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A mid-infrared(5-30 micron) instrument aboard a cryogenic space telescope can have an enormous impact in resolving key questions in astronomy and cosmology. A space platform's greatly reduced thermal backgrounds (compared to airborne or ground-based platforms), allow for more sensitive observations of dusty young galaxies at high redshifts, star formation of solar-type stars in the local universe, and formation and evolution of planetary disks and systems. The previous generation's largest, most sensitive infrared detectors at these wavelengths are 256 x 256 pixel Si:As impurity band conduction devices built by Raytheon Infrared Operations for the SIRTF/IRAC instrument. Raytheon has successfully enhanced these devices, increasing the pixel count by a factor of 16 while matching or exceeding SIRTF/IRAC device performance. NASA-Ames Research Center in collaboration with Raytheon has tested the first high performance large format (1024 x 1024) Si:As IBC arrays for low background applications, such as for the mid-IR instrument on NGST and future IR Explorer missions. These hybrid devices consist of radiation-hard SIRTF/IRAC-type Si:As IBC material mated to a readout multiplexer that has been specially processed for operation at low cryogenic temperatures (below 10 K), yielding high device sensitivity over a wavelength range of 5-28 microns. In this paper, we present laboratory test results from these benchmark devices. Continued development in this technology is essential for conducting large-area surveys of the local and early universe through observation and for complementing future missions such as NGST, TPF, and FIRST.
© (2003) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Kimberly A. Ennico, Mark E. McKelvey, Craig R. McCreight, Robert E. McMurray Jr., Roy Johnson, Alan W. Hoffman, Peter J. Love, and Nancy A. Lum "Large Format Si:As IBC Array Performance for NGST and Future IR Space Telescope Applications", Proc. SPIE 4850, IR Space Telescopes and Instruments, (5 March 2003);

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