Volume 595, November 2016
Gaia Data Release 1
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Published online||24 November 2016|
Gaia Data Release 1
On-orbit performance of the Gaia CCDs at L2
1 HE Space Operations BV for ESA/ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
2 ESA, European Space Astronomy Centre, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
3 Institute for Astronomy, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Royal Observatory, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh, EH9 3HJ, UK
4 Deimos-Space S.L.U. for ESA/ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
5 Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
6 Dept. d’Astronomia i Meteorologia, Institut de Ciències del Cosmos, Universitat de Barcelona (IEEC-UB), Martí Franquès 1, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
7 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking, Surrey RH5 6NT, UK
8 ESA, European Space Research and Technology Centre, Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands
9 Lund Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Lund University, Box 43, 22100 Lund, Sweden
10 Sterrewacht Leiden, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
11 Aurora Technology for ESA/ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
12 Praesepe for ESA/ESAC, Camino Bajo del Castillo s/n, 28691 Villanueva de la Cañada, Spain
13 Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, OPINAS, Giessenbachstrasse, 85741 Garching, Germany
Corresponding author: C. Crowley, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received: 24 May 2016
Accepted: 25 July 2016
The European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite was launched into orbit around L2 in December 2013 with a payload containing 106 large-format scientific CCDs. The primary goal of the mission is to repeatedly obtain high-precision astrometric and photometric measurements of one thousand million stars over the course of five years. The scientific value of the down-linked data, and the operation of the onboard autonomous detection chain, relies on the high performance of the detectors. As Gaia slowly rotates and scans the sky, the CCDs are continuously operated in a mode where the line clock rate and the satellite rotation spin-rate are in synchronisation. Nominal mission operations began in July 2014 and the first data release is being prepared for release at the end of Summer 2016. In this paper we present an overview of the focal plane, the detector system, and strategies for on-orbit performance monitoring of the system. This is followed by a presentation of the performance results based on analysis of data acquired during a two-year window beginning at payload switch-on. Results for parameters such as readout noise and electronic offset behaviour are presented and we pay particular attention to the effects of the L2 radiation environment on the devices. The radiation-induced degradation in the charge transfer efficiency (CTE) in the (parallel) scan direction is clearly diagnosed; however, an extrapolation shows that charge transfer inefficiency (CTI) effects at end of mission will be approximately an order of magnitude less than predicted pre-flight. It is shown that the CTI in the serial register (horizontal direction) is still dominated by the traps inherent to the manufacturing process and that the radiation-induced degradation so far is only a few per cent. We also present results on the tracking of ionising radiation damage and hot pixel evolution. Finally, we summarise some of the detector effects discovered on-orbit which are still being investigated.
Key words: instrumentation: detectors / astrometry / methods: data analysis / space vehicles: instruments
© ESO, 2016
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