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Company profile & Space Science Detector Capabilities. - Ian Cox. Company Profile.

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company profile
Company Profile
  • Specialist manufacturers of vacuum based detectors and camera systems for photon detection. Photek manufacture Image Intensifiers, PMT’s, Streak Tubes, open faced detectors and a range of associated electronics and camera systems
  • Located in St Leonards-on-Sea – South East England
  • Established September 1991
company profile1
Company Profile
  • 36 Employees
    • 10 sales/administrative
    • 7 R&D
    • 19 production/test
  • 5 employees educated to PHD level
  • Further 8 employees educated to degree level
detector products
Detector Products
  • MCP image intensifier
  • Ultra fast MCP photomultipliers
  • Streak tubes
  • Magnetic focus image intensifiers
  • De-magnifying gen 1 image intensifiers
  • Vacuum compatible detectors
camera products
Camera Products
  • Photon counting
  • Nanosecond ICCD
  • Intensified CCD
  • Fluorescence
  • X-ray
  • Particle imaging
electronic products
Electronic Products
  • HT power supplies
  • Nanosecond gating control
  • Laser pulse generator
  • Preamplifier
  • Image intensifier cooling
  • Early warning Missile systems
  • Wafer silicon inspection
  • Astronomy including orbital space science experiments
  • Ultra-high speed cameras
  • Nuclear & high energy physics research
  • Life-science research
  • Industrial processing
  • Security
  • 1,500m2 factory space
  • Class 100 assembly area
  • Class 10,000 clean room
  • Electro-mechanical vibration table
  • Ultra-high vacuum processing equipment
  • High speed (50 ps) laser pulsing equipment
  • Wet and dry hydrogen stoving capability
  • Inventor 3-D CAD software
facilities continued
Facilities – Continued
  • Protel Electronic Design Software
  • Agilent 18 GHz sampling scope
  • LeCroy 5 GHz digital scope
  • Spectrometer
  • Photometer
  • Optical table and dark room facilities
  • Environmental test chamber
  • Phosphor screen production and inspection facilities
  • Optical coating plant
  • Photek operates a company wide quality system based on ISO9000 and TQM principles
  • Currently working towards ISO9000 accreditation with successful implementation expected in 2008
  • We operate a strict stock control and inspection policy with all items batch controlled and tracked
  • All detectors and systems are fully characterised in out photometry laboratory
  • Each device has a serial number that is used throughout the entire manufacturing process
test and support
Test and Support
  • Excellent support and test facilities
  • Rigorous testing of all products is completed before release
  • Support question always answered by a technical member of staff. Typically educated to PHD level
  • 12 month warranty on all products
  • Technical support for lifetime of product
space science projects
Space Science Projects
  • ACE Advanced Composition Explorer
  • XMM UV Optical Monitor
  • MSX UVISI Detector
  • GUVI Global Ultraviolet Imager
  • SSUSI Special Sensor Ultra-violet Spectrographic Imager
  • UVIT Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope
advance composition explorer
Advance Composition Explorer
  • CRIS Detector (Cosmic Ray Isotope Spectrometer)
    • 40 mm Image Intensifier with 2 MCP
    • UV Fibre Optic Input Window
    • Blue Enhance Cathode to Match Scintillating Fibre Optics
    • 100,000 Gain
  • Uses scintillating fibre optic structure. The detector is to measure direction and energy of cosmic rays
uv optical monitor
UV Optical Monitor
  • Photon Imaging 170 nm to 550 nm region
  • Aligned with X-Ray Telescope
  • Provides Simultaneous Visible, UV and X-ray Images
the xmm detector
The XMM Detector
  • 25 mm Photon Counting
  • High Sensitivity in the 170 nm to 550 nm Region
  • Built in Fibre Optic Taper
  • Concave Input Window
mid course space experiment
Mid Course Space Experiment
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Launched 24 April 96
  • Part of the spectrograph on the UVISI Instrument
  • Diffuse and Discrete Aurora
  • Low Earth Atmosphere Phenomena
msx uvisi detector
MSX-UVISI Detector
  • 40 mm Photon Counting Image Intensifier
  • MgF2 Input Window
  • CsI Photocathode
  • 100 nm – 250 nm Response
global ultra violet imager
Global Ultra Violet Imager
  • Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Launched on the TIMED Spacecraft during 2001
  • TIMED is used to study the energetics and dynamicsof the Mesosphere and lower Thermosphere between an altitude of approximately 60 to 180 kilometers.
  • GUVI is a far-ultraviolet (115 to 180 nm), scanning imaging spectrograph that provides horizon-to-horizon images in five selectable wavelength intervals
guvi detector
GUVI Detector
  • 25 mm UV Photon Counting
  • MgF2 Input Window
  • CsI Photocathode
  • Wedge and Strip Anode
  • 106 cps
  • 3x106 Gain
ultra violet imaging telescope
Ultra-Violet Imaging Telescope
  • Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO)
  • Due to launch on the ASTROSAT spacecraft during 2008 – now delayed until 2012.
  • ASTROSAT aims are to investigate the origin and mechanism of radiation emissions in active galactic nuclei.
  • UVIT aims to provide flux calibrated images of the sky in the far-UV, near-UV and visible spectral regions
  • World leading space science vacuum detector manufacturer
  • Photek have the experience and knowledge to produce detectors to the most stringent space science requirements
  • Quality systems in place to ensure repeatability of detector manufacture
  • Test and support facilities give first class support for the lifetime of our detectors
uvit detectors
UVIT Detectors
  • Three 40 mm photon counting detectors
    • Far UV (120-180 nm)
    • Near UV (180-300 nm)
    • Visible (180-550 nm)
  • Integrated fibre optic taper with bondedFillFactory Star 250 CMOS sensor
uvit detectors1
UVIT Detectors

Photek have supplied 7 detectors for the UVIT project

  • NUV EM
  • NUV FM and FS
  • FUV FM and FS
  • VIS FM and FS
outline specification
Outline Specification
  • FUV Detector 120-180nm
  • MgF2 Input Window
  • CsI Solar Blind Photocathode
  • 2x 60:1 40mm MCP’s
  • P46 Phosphor
  • Fibre taper output
  • Star250 Sensor
  • NUV Detector 180-300nm
  • Fused Silica Input Window
  • CsTe Solar Blind Photocathode
  • VIS Detector 180-550nm
  • Fused Silica Input Window
  • Low Noise S20 Photocathode
cathode recess
Cathode Recess


The cathode recess is measured from the front of the DM mounting ring and the front of the input window.



View from front of detector

window thickness
Window Thickness


The window thickness is an optical measurement from the photocathode surface to the outside surface of the window.



View from front of detector

cathode to mcp gap
Cathode to MCP Gap


The cathode gap is measured from the photocathode surface of the input window to the front of the MCP



View from front of detector

electrical operating voltages
Electrical – Operating Voltages
  • Cathode and MCP voltage WRT ground (MCP Input).
  • Anode voltage WRT MCP output.
  • Optimal voltages are voltages as tested at Photek
  • The maximum specified voltages should not be exceeded
  • Each electrode has been over voltage (O/V) tested to the stated value

FUV FM Gain Calibration






Cathode -270V

MCP 2580V

Anode 3500V

Cathode -270V

MCP 2480V

Anode 4000V

Cathode -270V

MCP 2400V

Anode 4500V

Cathode -270V

MCP 2350V

Anode 5000V


Cathode -270V

MCP 2300V

Anode 5500V

event size
Event Size


The approximate FWHM of the event footprints has been measured and the results shown above for a range of operating voltages.

dark noise
Dark Noise

Count rate graph shows variation of count rate on a 1 second timescale.

2 Hour Dark Noise Image @22C

No bright defects detectable Average rate 5cps

image alignment
Image Alignment





View from front of detector

Star250 Readout


Horizontal / vertical cathode uniformity

Average uniformity


environmental testing
Environmental Testing
  • Encapsulation of detector
  • 24 Hour / 40C Bake to cure Arathane
  • Qualification level thermal cycle
  • Bond Star250 sensor
  • Vacuum Test
  • Acceptance level thermal cycle
  • Acceptance level vibration tests
  • Final acceptance tests

Note: Detector is tested after each stage of environmental testing

vacuum test
Vacuum Test
  • Photek do not have full thermal vacuum test facilities.
  • The following compromise test was agreed:
  • Place detector in a vacuum chamber
  • Leave for 24 hours @20C
  • Increase the room temperature to 30C and leave for 48 hours
  • Reduce room temperature back to 20C and leave for 24 hours
thermal cycle
Thermal Cycle

Qualification Level Thermal Cycle

+35˚C -15˚ C

+45˚C -25˚C Peaks

Acceptance Level Thermal Cycle

+30˚C -10˚C

+40˚C -20˚C Peaks

Note: Short cycles 2hrs, long cycles 24 hrs