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Calibration and evaluation of the secondary sensors for the Mini-EUSO space instrument
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The Mini-EUSO (Mini - Extreme Universe Space Observatory) is an instrument for observation of ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECR) from space. It is designed to observe Earth from the international space station (ISS) in the ultra-violet (UV), visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) light ranges. The UV sensor is the main sensor, designed and built by the EUSO collaboration. The visible and near-infrared sensors are secondary sensors. These are two cameras, FMVU-13S2C-CS and CMLN-13S2M-CV, from Point Grey Research Inc. The near-infrared light camera has a phosphor coating on the sensor to convert from near-infrared light to visible light, which is detectable by the camera's CCD.

This thesis deals with the calibration and evaluation of the secondary sensors. This is done by first evaluating the bias and dark current for both cameras. After which a calibration is done using the light measurement sphere, located at the National Instituteof Polar Research (NIPR) in Midori-cho, Tachikawa-shi, Japan. Due to the low sensitivity of the near-infrared light camera, an evaluation of its ability to see celestialobjects are also performed.

It is found that the visible light camera has a high bias with values around 5 ADU (Analog-to-Digital unit), but almost non-existing dark current, with mean values below 1 ADU. The visible light camera has good sensitivity for all the colors: red, green and blue. However, it is most sensitive to green. Due to this, it is easy to saturate the pixels with too much light. Therefore, saturation intensity was also examined for the shutter times of the visible light camera. This is found to be between 900μWm-2sr-1 and 1·107μWm-2sr-1, depending on color and shutter time.

The near-infrared light camera is the opposite; it has a low bias with values below 1 ADU and a high dark current. The values of the dark current for the near-infrared light camera are highly dependent on the temperature of the camera. Mean values are below 1 ADU for temperatures around 310K, but mean values of almost 2 ADU at temperatures around 338K. The sensitivity of the near-infrared light camera is very low, therefore, the only way to detect a difference between the light levels of the light measurement sphere was to use a high ADC amplication gain. With this it was found that there is a power-law behavior, values between 1.33 and 1.50, of the relationship between pixel values and light intensity. This is likely due to the phosphor coating used to convert to visible light. When trying to detect celestial objects, the faintest object detected was Venus with a magnitude of less than -4.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 75
Keywords [en]
Mini-EUSO, EUSO, calibration, evaluation, near-infrared light, visible light, camera, phosphorus coating
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67118OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-67118DiVA, id: diva2:1169130
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-01-11 Created: 2017-12-22 Last updated: 2018-01-11Bibliographically approved

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