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HgCdTe APD Arrays for Astronomy: Natural Guide Star Wavefront Sensing and Space Astronomy.

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Title:HgCdTe APD Arrays for Astronomy: Natural Guide Star Wavefront Sensing and Space Astronomy.
Authors:Atkinson, Dani E.
Contributors:Astronomy (department)
Date Issued:May 2018
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:This dissertation describes work I have conducted over ve academic years 2013/14 through 2017/18
as a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow at the University of Hawai'i Institute for Astronomy.
The focus has been the characterization and improvement of the Selex Avalanche Photodiode
HgCdTe InfraRed Array (SAPHIRA), a 320 256@24 m pitch metal organic vapor phase epitaxy
mercury cadmium telluride array that provides new capabilities and performance for near infrared
(NIR) astronomy. This has involved more than a dozen arrays, working closely with the manufacturer
so as to provide feedback for improvement of the next generation.
The investigation has resulted in three lead authored publications in the Astronomical Journal
which, as published, constitute the core of this dissertation:
An investigation into the SAPHIRA's dark current, a critical performance characteristic of
astronomical detectors that determines the inherent background of observations. This dark
current is comparable to other NIR devices. Published as Atkinson et al. (2017b).
The SAPHIRA's ability to detect individual photons, an ability referred to as photon counting.
Counting NIR photons gives unique new capabilities in AO and for future time-resolved
scienti c applications. The SAPHIRA is the only device of this size with these capabilities.
Published as Atkinson et al. (2018).
The characterization of Kepler Objects of Interest and contaminating companions performed
with Near Infrared Camera 2 (NIRC2) on the Keck II telescope, following on their discovery
by the Palomar 1.5-m (P1.5-m) telescope's Robotic-Adaptive Optics (Robo-AO) instrument.
Published as Atkinson et al. (2017a).
These are preceded by chapters providing 1) an introduction, 2) a description of the SAPHIRA
array, 3) a more detailed treatment of setup and characterization together with 4) a chapter covering
telescope deployments. They are followed by a chapter covering the three NASA Site Experiences
performed as part of my Space Technology Research Fellowship. The dissertation concludes with a
brief summary of my most signi cant achievements.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2018.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62169
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Astronomy


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