CMOS-APS Detectors for Solar Physics: Lessons Learned during the SWAP Preflight Calibration
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CMOS-APS imaging detectors open new opportunities for remote sensing in solar physics beyond what classical CCDs can provide, offering far less power consumption, simpler electronics, better radiation hardness, and the possibility of avoiding a mechanical shutter. The SWAP telescope onboard the PROBA2 technology demonstration satellite of the European Space Agency will be the first actual implementation of a CMOS-APS detector for solar physics in orbit. One of the goals of the SWAP project is precisely to acquire experience with the CMOS-APS technology in a real-live space science context. Such a precursor mission is essential in the preparation of missions such as Solar Orbiter where the extra CMOS-APS functionalities will be hard requirements. The current paper concentrates on specific CMOS-APS issues that were identified during the SWAP preflight calibration measurements. We will discuss the different readout possibilities that the CMOS-APS detector of SWAP provides and their associated pros and cons. In particular we describe the “image lag” effect, which results in a contamination of each image with a remnant of the previous image. We have characterised this effect for the specific SWAP implementation and we conclude with a strategy on how to successfully circumvent the problem and actually take benefit of it for solar monitoring.
KeywordsInstrumental effects Spectrum: Ultraviolet
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