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24 July 2014 GRAVITY detector systems
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GRAVITY is a second generation instrument for the VLT Interferometer, designed to enhance the near-infrared astrometric and spectro-imaging capabilities of VLTI. It will combine the AO corrected beams of the four VLT telescopes. The GRAVITY instrument uses a total of five eAPD detectors, four of which are for wavefront sensing and one for the Fringe tracker. In addition two Hawaii2RG are used, one for the acquisition camera and one for the spectrometer. A compact bath cryostat is used for each WFS unit, one for each of the VLT Unit Telescopes. Both Hawaii2RG detectors have a cutoff wavelength of 2.5 microns. A new and unique element of GRAVITY is the use of infrared wavefront sensors. For this reason SELEX-Galileo has developed a new high speed avalanche photo diode detector for ESO. The SAPHIRA detector, which stands for Selex Avalanche Photodiodes for Highspeed Infra Red Applications, has been already evaluated by ESO. At a frame rate of 1 KHz, a read noise of less than one electron can be demonstrated. A more detailed presentation about the performance of the SPAHIRA detector will be given at this conference 1. Each SAPHIRA detector is installed in an LN2 bath cryostat. The detector stage, filter wheel and optics are mounted on the cold plate of the LN2 vessel and enclosed by a radiation shield. All seven detector systems are controlled and read out by the standard ESO NGC controller. The NGC is a controller platform which can be adapted and customized for all infrared and optical detectors. This paper will discuss specific controller modifications implemented to meet the special requirements of the GRAVITY detector systems and give an overview of the GRAVITY detector systems and their performance.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Leander H. Mehrgan, Gert Finger, Matteo Accardo, Jean-Louis Lizon, Joerg Stegmeier, and Frank Eisenhauer "GRAVITY detector systems", Proc. SPIE 9146, Optical and Infrared Interferometry IV, 91461M (24 July 2014);


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