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Published August 10, 2015 | Published + Submitted
Journal Article Open

High-speed Imaging and Wavefront Sensing with an Infrared Avalanche Photodiode Array


Infrared avalanche photodiode (APD) arrays represent a panacea for many branches of astronomy by enabling extremely low-noise, high-speed, and even photon-counting measurements at near-infrared wavelengths. We recently demonstrated the use of an early engineering-grade infrared APD array that achieves a correlated double sampling read noise of 0.73 e− in the lab, and a total noise of 2.52 e− on sky, and supports simultaneous high-speed imaging and tip-tilt wavefront sensing with the Robo-AO visible-light laser adaptive optics (AO) system at the Palomar Observatory 1.5 m telescope. Here we report on the improved image quality simultaneously achieved at visible and infrared wavelengths by using the array as part of an image stabilization control loop with AO-sharpened guide stars. We also discuss a newly enabled survey of nearby late M-dwarf multiplicity, as well as future uses of this technology in other AO and high-contrast imaging applications.

Additional Information

© 2015 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2015 June 1; accepted 2015 July 8; published 2015 August 11. We thank the staff of Palomar Observatory for their support of the infrared camera with the Robo-AO system on the 1.5 m telescope. The development and characterization of the SAPHIRA detectors at the University of Hawai'i is sponsored by the National Science Foundation under grant No. AST-1106391 and by the NASA ROSES APRA award #NNX 13AC13G. The Robo-AO system was developed by collaborating partner institutions, the California Institute of Technology and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, and supported by the National Science Foundation under grant Nos. AST-0906060, AST-0960343, and AST-1207891, the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, and by a gift from Samuel Oschin. Ongoing science operation support of Robo-AO is provided by the California Institute of Technology and the University of Hawai'i. C.B. acknowledges support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. D.A. is supported by a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, grant #NNX 13AL75H. This research has made use of the VizieR catalogue access tool, CDS, Strasbourg, France. Facility: PO:1.5m (Robo-AO) -

Attached Files

Submitted - 1507.02680v1.pdf

Published - Baranec_2015.pdf


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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023