Robinson Vogt Stover The enormous value of charge-coupled devices (CCDs) for observational astronomical research is becoming apparent. The use of these two dimensional detectors with their high quantum efficiency, large wavelength coverage, linearity, large dynamic range, and low noise has significantly improved the research effectiveness of large telescopes. However, high quality CCDs with performance well matched to astronomical research needs are still not commercially available. This project seeks to help alleviate that problem. In a cooperative venture between industry and a university, Lick Observatory and the Reticon Corporation plan to carry out a program leading ultimately to the production of high quality CCDs optimized for astronomical research. Reticon has had extensive experience in the production of silicon sensors, many tailored to astronomical research needs, and Lick Observatory has had considerable experience in the testing, evaluation, and use of CCDs at the telescope. The goal is to produce CCDs with a 1200x400 pixel format, with pixels approximately 20 microns in size. The devices will have the high quantum efficiency, linearity, high charge transfer efficiency, low readout noise, and other characteristics that are important for astronomical sensors. In consultation with Lick astronomers, Reticon will be responsible for the design and construction of the CCDs, and Lick Observatory will carry out a detailed testing and evaluation of the resulting devices both in the laboratory and at the telescope. At the completion of the project, Reticon is committed to having these CCDs readily available to the astronomical community. In addition to the value of the detectors for astronomical research, significant advances in the understanding of the basic physics and materials characteristics are expected. These will be of value to Reticon in bringing this and other products to the marketplace.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)
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Benjamin B. Snavely
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University of California Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
United States
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