3-8 September 2017
The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.
Europe/London timezone

A Flight Photon Counting Camera for the WFIRST Coronagraph

Sep 6, 2017, 9:30 AM
Berrill Lecture Theatre (OU)

Berrill Lecture Theatre (OU)

The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA


Patrick Morrissey (Jet Propulsion Laboratory)


A photon counting camera based on the Teledyne-e2v CCD201-20 electron multiplying CCD (EMCCD) is being developed for the NASA WFIRST coronagraph, an exoplanet imaging technology development of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) that is scheduled to launch in 2026. The coronagraph is designed to directly image planets around nearby stars, and to characterize their spectra. The planets are exceedingly faint, providing signals similar to the detector dark current, and require the use of photon counting detectors. Red sensitivity (600-980nm) is preferred to capture spectral features of interest. Since radiation in space affects the ability of the EMCCD to transfer the required single electron signals, care has been taken to develop appropriate shielding that will protect the cameras during a five year mission. In this paper, consideration of the effects of space radiation on photon counting observations will be described with the mitigating features of the camera design. An overview of the current camera flight system electronics requirements and design will also be described.

Primary authors

Patrick Morrissey (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Leon Harding (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Michael Bottom (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Richard Demers (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Robert Effinger (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Don Nieraeth (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Larry Hoyland (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Yuki Moriyama (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Bijan Nemati (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Nathan Bush (The Open University) David Hall Ross Burgon (Open University) Prof. Andrew Holland (The Open University)

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