Readout of the UFFO Slewing Mirror Telescope to detect UV/optical photons from Gamma-Ray Bursts

J. E. Kim, H. Lim, J. W. Nam, S. Brandt, C. Budtz-Jørgensen, A. J. Castro-Tirado, P. Chen, H. S. Choi, B. Grossan, M. A. Huang, S. Jeong, A. Jung, M. B. Kim, S. W. Kim, J. Lee, E. V. Linder, T. C. Liu, G. W. Na, M. I. Panasyuk, I. H. ParkJ. Ripa, V. Reglero, G. F. Smoot, S. Svertilov, N. Vedenkin, I. Yashin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The Slewing Mirror Telescope (SMT) was proposed for rapid response to prompt UV/optical photons from Gamma-Ray Bursts (GRBs). The SMT is a key component of the Ultra-Fast Flash Observatory (UFFO)-pathfinder, which will be launched aboard the Lomonosov spacecraft at the end of 2013. The SMT utilizes a motorized mirror that slews rapidly forward to its target within a second after triggering by an X-ray coded mask camera, which makes unnecessary a reorientation of the entire spacecraft. Subsequent measurement of the UV/optical is accomplished by a 10 cm aperture Ritchey-Chrètien telescope and the focal plane detector of Intensified Charge-Coupled Device (ICCD). The ICCD is sensitive to UV/optical photons of 200-650 nm in wavelength by using a UV-enhanced S20 photocathode and amplifies photoelectrons at a gain of 10 4-106 in double Micro-Channel Plates. These photons are read out by a Kodak KAI-0340 interline CCD sensor and a CCD Signal Processor with 10-bit Analog-to-Digital Converter. Various control clocks for CCD readout are implemented using a Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The SMT readout is in charge of not only data acquisition, storage and transfer, but also control of the slewing mirror, the ICCD high voltage adjustments, power distribution, and system monitoring by interfacing to the UFFO-pathfinder. These functions are realized in the FPGA to minimize power consumption and to enhance processing time. The SMT readout electronics are designed and built to meet the spacecraft's constraints of power consumption, mass, and volume. The entire system is integrated with the SMT optics, as is the UFFO-pathfinder. The system has been tested and satisfies the conditions of launch and those of operation in space: those associated with shock and vibration and those associated with thermal and vacuum, respectively. In this paper, we present the SMT readout electronics: the design, construction, and performance, as well as the results of space environment test.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberP07012
JournalJournal of Instrumentation
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation
  • Mathematical Physics


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