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Photon counting in the Infrared with e-APD devices

June 2018 (10709-43 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation)


Abstract: Since the first photon counting systems in the visible, developped by Boksenberg and his collabortors in 1972, many groups around the world improved photon counting techniques. In the 2000’s in the visible, EMCCDSs (electron multiplying charge coupled devices) allowed to replace the classical image intensifier photon counting systems by solid state devices and improved a lot the QE...

C-RED 2 InGaAs 640x512 600 fps infrared camera for low order wavefront sensing

June 2018 (10703-68 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation)


Abstract: Infrared wavefront sensors are now implemented in MCAO systems as reference (or truth sensors). After the successful development of C-RED One, the only commercial 320x256 3500 fps e-APD sub-e noise infrared camera, First Light Imaging developed the C-RED 2 InGaAs 640x512 fast camera with unprecedented performances in terms of noise, dark and readout speed based on the SNAKE SWIR detector from Sofradir. The C-RED 2 characteristics and performances at 600 fps are fully described in this paper. The C-RED2 development is supported by the "Investments for the future" program and the Provence Alpes Côte d'Azur Region, in the frame of the CPER.

C-RED One and C-RED2: SWIR high-performance cameras using Saphira e-APD and Snake InGaAs detector

January 2018 (10539-41 SPIE Photonics West)


Abstract: After the development of the OCAM² EMCCD fast visible camera [1] dedicated to advanced adaptive optics wavefront sensing, First Light Imaging moved to the SWIR fast cameras with the development of the C-RED One and the C-RED 2 cameras.

Infared detectors for wavefront sensing

June 2017 (AO4ELT 5 – Adaptive Optics for Extremely Large Telescopes)


Abstract: After the development of the OCAM² EMCCD fast visible camera dedicated to advanced adaptive optics wavefront sensing, First Light Imaging moved to the SWIR fast cameras with the C-RED One and the C-RED 2 cameras…

C-RED One and C-RED 2: SWIR advanced cameras using Saphira e-APD and Snake InGaAs detectors

April 2017 (10209-15 SPIE Defense and Commercial Sensing)


Abstract: After the development of the OCAM2 EMCCD fast visible camera [1] dedicated to advanced adaptive optics wavefront sensing, First Light Imaging moved to the SWIR fast cameras with the C-RED One and the C-RED 2 cameras. These cameras and their performances are described extensively in this paper.

C-RED one: ultra-high speed wavefront sensing in the infrared made possible

June 2016 (9909-41 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation)


Abstract: First Light Imaging’s C-RED One infrared camera is capable of capturing up to 3500 full frames per second with a subelectron readout noise. This breakthrough has been made possible thanks to the use of an e-APD infrared focal plane array which is a real disruptive technology in imagery…

C-RED One: The InfraRed Camera using the Saphira e-APD detector

June 2016 (9907-86 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation)


Abstract: First Light Imaging’s C-RED One infrared camera is capable of capturing up to 3500 full frames per second with a subelectron readout noise and very low background. This breakthrough has been made possible thanks to the use of an e-APD infrared focal plane array which is a real disruptive technology in imagery...

C-RED One: The InfraRed Camera using the Saphira e-APD detector (Poster)

June 2016 (9907-86 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation)


Fast sub-electron detectors review for interferometry

June 2016 (9907-39 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation)


Abstract: New disruptive technologies are now emerging for detectors dedicated to interferometry. The detectors needed for this kind of applications need antonymic characteristics: the detector noise must be very low, especially when the signal is dispersed but at the same time must also sample the fast temporal characteristics of the signal. This paper describes the new fast low noise technologies that have been recently developed for interferometry and adaptive optics.

OCAM2S: an integral shutter ultrafast and low noise wavefront sensor camera for laser guide stars adaptive optics systems

October 2015 (Preprints of the AO4ELT 4 Proceedings - Lake Arrowhead 2017)


Abstract: To date, the OCAM2 system has demonstrated to be the fastest and lowest noise production ready wavefront sensor, achieving 2067 full frames per second with subelectron readout noise. This makes OCAM2 the ideal system for natural as well as continuous wave laser guide star wavefront sensing. In this paper we present the new gated version of OCAM2 named OCAM2-S, using E2V’s CCD219 sensor with integral shutter…

State of the art IR cameras for wavefront sensing using e-APD MCT arrays

October 2015 (Preprints of the AO4ELT 4 Proceedings - Lake Arrowhead 2017)


Abstract: The recent discovery of electron initiated avalanche photodiodes (e-APDs) using mercury cadmium telluride semiconductor materials has permitted a significant advance in short-wave infrared imaging. In the visible spectrum, electron-multiplying charge-coupled devices (EMCCDs) improved imaging techniques—especially in the life sciences. And yet, no significant breakthroughs have been made in infrared imagery since the hybridization of III-V or II-VI semiconductors with low bandgap on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) read-out integrated circuits (ROICs)

State of the art IR cameras for wavefront sensing using e-APD MCT arrays

September 2015 (Purple Mountain Observatory Chinese Academy of Sciences)


Abstract. The success of the next generation of instrument for large (up to 10 m) or extremely larges telescopes (up to 40 m) in the visible-infrared will depend on the ability of Adaptive Optics (AO) systems to provide excellent image quality and stability..

The Subaru Coronographic Extreme Adaptive Optics system: enabling high-contrast imaging on solar-system scales

October 2014 (Submitted to the Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific)


Abstract: The Subaru Coronagraphic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) instrument is a multipurpose high contrast-imaging platform designed for the discovery and detailed characterization of exoplanetary systems and serves as a testbed for instrumentation for ELTs…

OCAM2S: an integral shutter ultrafast and low noise wavefront sensor camera for laser guide stars adaptive optics systems

July 2014 (9148-44-v2 SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - Montreal) Report from LAM (Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille)


Abstract: To date, the OCAM2 system has demonstrated to be the fastest and lowest noise production ready wavefront sensor, achieving 2067 full frames per second with subelectron readout noise. This makes OCAM2 the ideal system for natural as well as continuous wave laser guide star wavefront sensing. In this paper we present the new gated version of OCAM2 named OCAM2-S, using E2V’s CCD219 sensor with integral shutter…

High speed and High precision pyramid wavefront sensor - In labs validation and preparation to on sky demonstration

February 2014 (SPIE_2014_Paper_9148_208 - SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - Montreal) Kacem El Hadi reports on his work with OCAM²


Since the introduction of the pyramid wavefront sensor [P-WFS] concept (Ragazzoni), numerous investigations have clearly shown its ability to achieve better performance (sensitivity, dynamic range) than the standard Shack-Hartman [SH-WFS]...

Development of a Pyramid Wavefront Sensor

May 2013 (AO4ELT 3 - Florence, Italy) Kacem El Hadi from LAM


Abstract. Within the framework of the E-ELT studies, several laboratories are involved on some instruments: ARMONI with its ATLAS adaptive optics [AO] system, EAGLE or EPICS. Most of the AO systems will probably integrate one or several pyramidal wavefront sensors, PWFS (R. Ragazzoni [1-2]). The coupling in an AO loop and the control in laboratory (then on sky) of this type of sensor is fundamental for the continuation of the projects related to OA systems on the E-ELT…

Visible and Infrared Wavefront Sensing detectors review in Europe – part I

May 2013 (AO4ELT 3 - Florence, Italy)


Abstract. Within the framework of the E-ELT studies, several laboratories are involved on some instruments: ARMONI with its ATLAS adaptive optics [AO] system, EAGLE or EPICS. Most of the AO systems will probably integrate one or several pyramidal wavefront sensors, PWFS (R. Ragazzoni [1-2]). The coupling in an AO loop and the control in laboratory (then on sky) of this type of sensor is fundamental for the continuation of the projects related to OA systems on the E-ELT…

New wavefront sensing concepts for Adaptative Optics instrumentation

October 2012 (SPIE_2012_Paper_8535_16 - SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - Amsterdam) Kacem El Hadi reports on his work with OCAM²


For the last few years, Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille has been carrying out several R&D activities in Adaptive Optics (AO) instrumentation for Extremely Large Telescopes (ELTs). In the European ELT(D = 40 m) framework, both theoretical and experimental studies are jointly led...

Toward an experimental validation of new AO concepts for future E-ELT instrumentation

July 2012 (SPIE_2012_Paper_8447-184 - SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - Amsterdam) Kacem El Hadi reports on his work with OCAM²


For the last few years, LAM has been carrying out several R&D activities in Adaptive Optics (AO) instrumentation for Extremely Large Telescopes(ELTs). In the European ELT framework, a multi-purpose AO bench is developed to allow the experimental validation of new instrumental concepts dedicated to the next generation of ELTs...

Advances in Detector Technologies for Visible and Infrared Wavefront Sensing

July 2012 (Feautrier_8447-26-preprint SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - Amsterdam)


The purpose of this paper is to give an overview of the state of the art wavefront sensor detectors developments held in Europe for the last decade. The success of the next generation of instruments for 8 to 40-m class telescopes will depend on the ability of Adaptive Optics (AO) systems to provide excellent image quality and stability...

Publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific

March 2011


Abstract: OCam with CCD220, the Fastest and Most Sensitive Camera to Date for AO Wavefront Sensing…

Characterization of OCAM and CCD220, the fastest and most sensitive camera to date for AO wavefront sensing

June 2010 (Feautrier_8447-26-preprint SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation - San Diego)


For the first time, sub-electron read noise has been achieved with a camera suitable for astronomical wavefront-sensing (WFS) applications. The OCam system has demonstrated this performance at 1300 Hz frame rate and with 240x240-pixel frame rate. ESO and JRA2 OPTICON2 have jointly funded e2v technologies to develop a custom CCD for Adaptive Optics (AO) wavefront sensing applications...

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