Experimental Astronomy

, Volume 3, Issue 1–4, pp 1–8 | Cite as

Astronomical imaging with InSb arrays

  • Judith L. Pipher


Ten years ago, Forrest presented the first astronomical images with an SBRC 32×32 InSb array camera at the first NASA-Ames Infrared Detector Technology Workshop. Soon after, SBRC began development of 58×62 InSb arrays, both for ground-based astronomy and for SIRTF. By the time of the 1987 Hilo workshop “Ground-based Astronomical Observations with Infrared Array Detectors” astronomical results from cameras based on SBRC 32×32 and 58×62 InSb arrays, a CE linear InSb array, and a French 32×32 InSb CID array were presented. And at the Tucson 1990 meeting “Astrophysics with Infrared Arrays”, it was clear that this new technology was no longer the province of “IR pundits”, but provided a tool for all astronomers. At this meeting, the first astronomical observations with SBRC's new, gateless passivation 256×256 InSb arrays will be presented: they perform spectacularly!

In this review, I can only broadly brush on the interesting science completed with InSb array cameras. Because of the broad wavelength coverage (1–5.5 μm) of InSb, and the extremely high performance levels throughout the band, InSb cameras are used not only in the near IR, but also from 3–5.5 μm, where unique science is achieved. For example, the point-like central engines of AGNs are delineated at L′ and M′, and Brα and 3.29 μm dust emission images of galactic and extragalactic objects yield excitation conditions. Examples of imaging spectroscopy, high spatial resolution imaging, as well as deep, broad-band imaging with InSb cameras at this meeting illustrate the power of InSb array cameras.

Key words

InSb arrays Infrared arrays Ground-based astronomy SIRTF 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith L. Pipher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyUniversity of RochesterRochesterUSA

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