Light-Trap: A SiPM Upgrade for Very High Energy Astronomy and Beyond
August 16, 2017
August 03, 2018
With the development of the Imaging Atmospheric Cherenkov Technique (IACT), Gamma-ray astronomy has become one of the most interesting and productive fields of astrophysics. Current IACT telescope arrays (MAGIC, H.E.S.S, VERITAS) use photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) to detect the optical/near-UV Cherenkov radiation emitted due to the interaction of gamma rays with the atmosphere. For the next generation of IACT experiments, the possibility of replacing the PMTs with Silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) is being studied. Among the main drawbacks of SiPMs are their limited active area (leading to an increase in the cost and complexity of the camera readout) and their sensitivity to unwanted wavelengths. Here we propose a novel method to build a relatively low-cost pixel consisting of a SiPM attached to a PMMA disk doped with a wavelength shifter. This pixel collects light over a much larger area than a single standard SiPM and improves sensitivity to near-UV light while simultaneously rejecting background. We describe the design of a detector that could also have applications in other fields where detection area and cost are crucial. We present results of simulations and laboratory measurements of a pixel prototype and from field tests performed with a 7-pixel cluster installed in a MAGIC telescope camera.
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