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December 12: LYRA Diamond Detectors

     
  December 12: LYRA Diamond Detectors  
  LYRA Diamond Detectors  
 

 

Click on the above image for a link to a technical paper discussing LYRAs diamond detectors

 

 
 

Diamonds are forever, diamonds are a girls best friend and diamond detectors are part of LYRA, the solar UV radiometer on board PROBA2!

PROBA2 is the second satellite in the European Space Agency's series of PROBA low-cost satellites that are being used to validate new spacecraft technologies while also carrying scientific instruments. One of those instruments is the "Large Yield Radiometer" (LYRA), a radiometer made of diamond photodiodes. LYRA provides the first space assessment of a pioneering UV diamond detector program. Diamond makes the sensors "solar-blind", meaning the detectors are insensitive if exposed to the solar spectrum below the Earth atmosphere (at sea level).

By using diamond detectors, the number of filters required to block unwanted visible radiation is reduced and  serious attenuation of the desired UV radiation is avoided, making a more efficient detector. For the LYRA project, two types of diamond detectors were developed: photodiode (pin) and photoconductor (MSM) detectors.

For a more technical description of the detectors take a look
here.