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Institut für Astronomie und Astrophysik

Abteilung Astronomie

Sand 1, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany
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Preprint 08a/14

Characterisation of low power readout electronics for a UV microchannel plate detector with cross-strip readout

M. Pfeifer (1), J. Barnstedt (1), S. Diebold (1), S. Hermanutz (1), C. Kalkuhl (1), N. Kappelmann (1), T. Schanz (1), B. Schütze (1) and K. Werner (1)

(1) Insitute for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IAAT), Eberhard Karls University, Sand 1, 72076 Tübingen, Germany

To be published in: Proc. SPIE 9144

Abstract. Astronomical observations in the ultraviolet (UV) wavelength range between 91 and 300nm are fundamental for the progress in astrophysics. Scientific success of future UV observatories raises the need for technology development in the areas of detectors, optical components, and their coatings. We develop solar blind and photon counting microchannel plate (MCP) UV detectors as a contribution to the progress in UV observation technology. New combinations of materials for the photocathode (see paper No. 9144-111, this volume, for details) as well as a cross-strip (XS) anode, having 64 strips on each layer, are used. Pre-amplification of the charge deposited onto the anode is performed by the Beetle chip designed at the Max-Planck-Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg for LHCb at CERN. It features 128 pre-amplifiers on one die and provides the analogue output in a four-fold serial stream. This stream is digitised by only four ADCs and is processed in an FPGA. This concept results in a reduced power consumption well below 10W as well as a reduced volume, weight and complexity of the readout electronics compared to existing cross-strip readouts. We developed an electronics prototype assembly and a setup in a vacuum chamber that is similar to the configuration in the final detector. The setup in the chamber is used for the burn-in of the MCPs as well as for tests of the readout electronics prototype assembly incorporating realistic signals. In this paper, information on the XS anodes as well as on the hybrid PCB carrying the Beetle pre-amplifier chip is shown. Details on the readout electronics design as well as details of the setup in the vacuum chamber are presented. An outlook to the next steps in the development process is given.
Key words: Data acquisition concepts, Front-end electronics for detector readout, Detectors for UV photons, Microchannel plate, Cross strip anode, Beetle pre-amplifier chip

Preprint (3,96 Mb PDF file including figures)

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