prototype camera

The Compact High Energy Camera (CHEC) is a camera-development project for the SST-2M. Two CHEC prototypes, based on different photosensors, are funded and under construction led by the CTA-UK team in collaboration with US, Japanese and Dutch groups. CHEC is designed to work with both of the SST-2M telescope structure developments: GATE in Paris and ASTRI in Sicily. The first CHEC prototype (CHEC-M) will be based on multi-anode photomultipliers and the second (CHEC-S) on silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs or MPPCs).

CHEC is designed to provide a low-cost, high-reliability, high-data-quality solution for the SST-2M. It has a curved focal plane to match the requirements of the SST-2M optics, instrumented with 32x 64-pixel photosensor modules. Signals from the photosensors are fed to low-noise shaping pre-amplifiers and thence to 1 GS/s (i.e. 1 ns time-bin) digitising ASICs (called TARGET). A camera-level trigger decisions is made on a blackplane PCB with programmmable trigger algorithms implemented on an FPGA. CHEC will provide full waveform information for every camera pixel in every event. The camera will be fully sealed, excluding the possibility of dust and moisture ingress.

CHEC-M is on track for completion in spring next year, with laboratory commissioning and testing followed by a field testing late in the year. A 1/4 scale mechanical demonstrator has been built, the design is close to final and the construction of the first components of the final camera has now started.