Abstract

We have successfully fabricated, tested, and operated a digital image tube consisting of a magnetically focused image intensifier tube in which a self-scanned linear array of 1024 silicon photodiodes operating in the EBS mode serves as the photoelectron image detector, amplifier, and intermediate image storage device. Integral on-chip MOS shift registers driven by an external clock sequentially interrogate the photodiodes through MOS FET multiplex switch arrays. Each output frame is a sequence of 256 analog pulses on each of four video lines. Laboratory and observing tests show that the output signal is photoelectron shot noise limited over at least a range of 1–105 detected photoelectrons per picture element, indicating that single photon detection is achieved. High-resolution astronomical spectroscopy has been carried out in the coudé spectrograph of the 2.7-m telescope at McDonald Observatory. Examples are shown.

© 1975 Optical Society of America

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