Modelling radiation damage to ESA's Gaia satellite CCDs

Seabroke, George; Holland, Andrew and Cropper, Mark (2008). Modelling radiation damage to ESA's Gaia satellite CCDs. In: Proceedings of SPIE: High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy III, 23-27 Jun 2008, Marseille.



The Gaia satellite is a high-precision astrometry, photometry and spectroscopic ESA cornerstone mission, currently scheduled for launch in late 2011. Its primary science drivers are the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy. Gaia will not achieve its scientific requirements without detailed calibration and correction for radiation damage. Microscopic models of Gaia's CCDs are being developed to simulate the effect of radiation damage, charge trapping, which causes charge transfer inefficiency. The key to calculating the probability of a photoelectron being captured by a trap is the 3D electron density within each CCD pixel. However, this has not been physically modelled for Gaia CCD pixels. In this paper, the first of a series, we motivate the need for such specialised 3D device modelling and outline how its future results will fit into Gaia's overall radiation calibration strategy.

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