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Astron. Astrophys. Suppl. Ser. 130, 395-401

The DELTA photon counting camera concept

S. Morel - L. Koechlin

Send offprint request: S. Morel

Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Toulouse, Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, 14 avenue Édouard Belin, F-31400 Toulouse, France

Received June 18; accepted December 17, 1997


In this paper we present new ideas for a high sensitivity array detector, which yields the space and time coordinates of photo-events at sustained count rates superior to one million per second. The DELTA camera (Detector Enhancement by Linear-projections on Three Axes) has been initially designed for astronomy. However, it has advantages for a wide range of high-resolution problems in the visible and near I.R. It is noticeable for its optical design, its smooth flat field and its very high temporal resolution and throughput in photon counting mode. The resolution of the prototype described is $512 \times 591$ pixels in space and 2.6 $\mu$s in time. The principle of this detector is based on a projection - back-projection scheme (the $\Delta$-process) and on the use of three one-dimensional CCDs. We describe the technical solutions which could lead to an operational prototype. From numerical simulations of the $\Delta$-process, we give some expected characteristics of this camera.

Key words: instrumentation: detectors -- techniques: interferometric

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