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Sensors 2018, 18(2), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18020479

Analysis of Dark Current in BRITE Nanostellite CCD Sensors

Institute of Automatic Control, Silesian University of Technology, Akademicka 16, 44-100 Gliwice, Poland
Based on data collected by the BRITE Constellation satellite mission, designed, built, launched, operated and supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the University of Vienna, the Technical University of Graz, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS), the Foundation for Polish Science & Technology (FNiTP MNiSW), and National Science Centre (NCN).
Received: 17 January 2018 / Revised: 30 January 2018 / Accepted: 3 February 2018 / Published: 6 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) Sensors)
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Abstract

The BRightest Target Explorer (BRITE) is the pioneering nanosatellite mission dedicated for photometric observations of the brightest stars in the sky. The BRITE charge coupled device (CCD) sensors are poorly shielded against extensive flux of energetic particles which constantly induce defects in the silicon lattice. In this paper we investigate the temporal evolution of the generation of the dark current in the BRITE CCDs over almost four years after launch. Utilizing several steps of image processing and employing normalization of the results, it was possible to obtain useful information about the progress of thermal activity in the sensors. The outcomes show a clear and consistent linear increase of induced damage despite the fact that only about 0.14% of CCD pixels were probed. By performing the analysis of temperature dependencies of the dark current, we identified the observed defects as phosphorus-vacancy (PV) pairs, which are common in proton irradiated CCD matrices. Moreover, the Meyer-Neldel empirical rule was confirmed in our dark current data, yielding E M N = 24.8 meV for proton-induced PV defects. View Full-Text
Keywords: CCD defects; space telescopes; nano-satellites CCD defects; space telescopes; nano-satellites
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Popowicz, A. Analysis of Dark Current in BRITE Nanostellite CCD Sensors. Sensors 2018, 18, 479.

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