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Published January 2023 | Published
Journal Article Open

Tuning of nuclear spectroscopic telescope array application specific integrated circuits to improve low energy threshold of future hard x-ray imaging detectors


Detector commanding, processing and readout of spaceborne instrumentation is often accomplished with application specific integrated circuits (ASICs). The ASIC designed for the nuclear spectroscopic telescope array (NuSTAR) mission enables future tiled CdZnTe (CZT) detector array readout for x-ray detectors, such as the high resolution energetic x-ray imager (HREXI). Modified NuSTAR ASIC (NuASIC) gain settings have been implemented for HREXI's broader targeted imaging energy range (3 to 300 keV) compared with NuSTAR (2 to 79 keV), which may require updated NuASIC internal parameters for optimal energy resolution. To reach HREXI's targeted low energy threshold, we have also enabled the NuASIC's "charge pump mode," which introduces an additional tuning parameter. We describe the mechanics of the NuASIC's adjustable parameters and use our recently developed ASIC test stand to probe a "bare" NuASIC using its internal test pulser. We record the effects of parameter tuning on the device's electronics noise and low energy threshold and report the optimal set of parameters for HREXI's updated gain setting. We detail a semiautomated procedure to derive the optimal parameters for each of HREXI's large area closely tiled NuASIC/CZT detectors to expedite instrument integration.

Additional Information

© 2023 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We would like to thank Fiona A. Harrison, Jill A. Burnham, and W. Rick Cook of the California Institute of Technology along with the rest of the NuSTAR Team for developing the NuASIC and providing valuable information to facilitate its operation and testing. DPV is grateful to MA and KV for useful advice. This work was supported by NASA APRA (Grant No. NNX17AE62G). DPV is supported by the NASA FINESST Fellowship (Grant No. 80NSSC20K1537).

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August 22, 2023
October 23, 2023