Microchannel plate detector technology potential for LUVOIR and HabEx

O. H.W. Siegmund, C. Ertley, J. V. Vallerga, E. R. Schindhelm, A. Harwit, B. T. Fleming, K. C. France, J. C. Green, S. R. McCandliss, W. M. Harris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

17 Scopus citations


Microchannel plate (MCP) detectors have been the detector of choice for ultraviolet (UV) instruments onboard many NASA missions. These detectors have many advantages, including high spatial resolution (<20 μm), photon counting, radiation hardness, large formats (up to 20 cm), and ability for curved focal plane matching. Novel borosilicate glass MCPs with atomic layer deposition combine extremely low backgrounds, high strength, and tunable secondary electron yield. GaN and combinations of bialkali/alkali halide photocathodes show promise for broadband, higher quantum efficiency. Cross-strip anodes combined with compact ASIC readout electronics enable high spatial resolution over large formats with high dynamic range. The technology readiness levels of these technologies are each being advanced through research grants for laboratory testing and rocket flights. Combining these capabilities would be ideal for UV instruments onboard the Large UV/Optical/IR Surveyor (LUVOIR) and the Habitable Exoplanet Imaging Mission (HABEX) concepts currently under study for NASA's Astrophysics Decadal Survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX
EditorsOswald H. Siegmund
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612518
StatePublished - 2017
EventUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 6 2017Aug 8 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XX 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Imaging
  • Microchannel Plate
  • Photon Counting.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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