Developing an infrared APD array camera for near-infrared wavefront sensing

Adam Butko, Suresh Sivanandam, Tim Hardy, Siqi Liu, Shaojie Chen, Jean Pierre Veran, Philip M. Hinz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


We will be upgrading the MMT Observatory's (MMTO) Adaptive Optics (AO) system with a novel Pyramid Wavefront Sensor (PWFS). Our camera will utilize Leonardo's SAPHIRA, a low-read-noise electron Avalanche Photodiode (eAPD) array. By observing natural guide stars in the near-infrared, we will improve the sky coverage at the MMTO by an order of magnitude. We have developed a compact cryostat that utilizes Sunpower's CryoTel MT cryocooler to reduce the SAPHIRA's dark current and thermal background radiation. Our camera's cooling performance and cryocooler induced vibrations have been quantified and the results are presented here. Upon characterizing the laboratory performance of our camera at various reverse-bias voltages, this instrument will be integrated with MMTO's adaptive optics system. The successful implementation of this wavefront sensor will pave the way for future applications using this technology in AO systems of extremely large telescopes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII
EditorsLuc Simard, Luc Simard, Christopher J. Evans, Hideki Takami
ISBN (Print)9781510619579
StatePublished - 2018
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018 - Austin, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2018Jun 14 2018

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VII 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • MMT observatory
  • adaptive optics
  • avalanche photodiode array
  • pyramid wavefront sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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