OPTICON FP7 (2013-2016) WP2 - Fast Detectors and Cameras

WP leader: Philippe Feautrier (CNRS)


WP2 is dedicated to the development of detectors for future Adaptive Optics (AO) systems using laser guide stars (LGS) and is therefore closely linked with WP1. The detector control systems are prototypes, which allow testing of the detector in our laboratories, but do not allow development of the production camera which will be used on the telescope itself. During our previous contract, outstanding performance was obtained from the prototype, OCam (http://www.eso.org/public/images/eso0922b/) and its dedicated detector the CCD220 developed by the company e2v. This technology is currently used by the second generation of VLT AO instruments. The third generation of AO instruments will be still more demanding in terms of frame rate and readout noise, and are the basis for the AO systems of the future European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). Significantly, during our development programme new partners from outside astronomy contacted us to investigate the use of this technology for monitoring civilian airport runways for debris directly from the control tower, taking advantage of OCam’s ability to observe at low light levels and freeze the atmospheric turbulence at high frame rates.