Iqueye, a single photon-counting photometer applied to the ESO new technology telescope
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padova, via Gradenigo, 6/A, 35131 Padova PD, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
2 CNR/INFM/LUXOR, Padova, Italy
3 Department of Astronomy, University of Padova, Italy
4 INAF Astronomical Observatory of Roma, Italy
5 Italian Space Agency, Rome, Italy
6 Interdipartimental Center of Studies and Activities for Space (CISAS) “G. Colombo”, University of Padova, Italy
7 ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences, Barcelona, Spain
8 INAF Astronomical Observatory of Catania, Italy
9 INAF Astronomical Observatory of Cagliari, Italy
10 Observatoire de Meudon, France
11 INAF Astronomical Observatory of Padova, Italy
12 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Padova, Italy
Accepted: 15 September 2009
Context. A new extremely high speed photon-counting photometer, Iqueye, has been installed and tested at the New Technology Telescope, in La Silla.
Aims. This instrument is the second prototype of a “quantum” photometer being developed for future Extremely Large Telescopes of 30–50 m aperture.
Methods. Iqueye divides the telescope aperture into four portions, each feeding a single photon avalanche diode. The counts from the four channels are collected by a time-to-digital converter board, where each photon is appropriately time-tagged. Owing to a rubidium oscillator and a GPS receiver, an absolute rms timing accuracy better than 0.5 ns during one-hour observations is achieved. The system can sustain a count rate of up to 8 MHz uninterruptedly for an entire night of observation.
Results. During five nights of observations, the system performed smoothly, and the observations of optical pulsar calibration targets provided excellent results.
Key words: instrumentation: photometers / techniques: miscellaneous / instrumentation: miscellaneaous
© ESO, 2009