We present the proceedings from the workshop entitled Scientific Detectors for Astronomy 2005, a weeklong meeting held in Taormina, Sicily during 19-25 June 2005. This was the sixth workshop of this series, and the fourth with hardcover proceedings. By all measures, this workshop surpassed the previous meetings.
The primary purpose of any technical meeting is the exchange of scientific and engineering information. The meeting was attended by 127 astronomers, scientists and engineers from 21 countries spread across every continent, with representation of all major manufacturers and 36 astronomical observatories. A total of 94 oral and poster papers were presented, of which 87 are contained in these proceedings. A new feature of this workshop was the overview papers of several areas: Ground-based observatories, Space-based observatories, CCDs, and CMOS. Our goal was for these overviews to be true "world views" that combined the expertise of several, often competing, institutions to present basic fundamentals to state-of-the-art material in a pedagogical way. Due to the professionalism and cooperation of the collaborating teams the overview papers were a great success. We are indebted to these authors for giving their time and sharing their knowledge.
The papers presented at the workshop covered the gamut of science, technology and engineering required for developing and using scientific detectors in astronomy. These detectors are the eyes of astronomical instruments, and the performance of an observatory is directly a function of the quality of its detectors. Thus, the workshop began with a day of papers on observatory status and plans, instrumentation, and observing techniques. The next two days of the workshop focused on the primary detector technologies used in astronomy: CCDs and CMOS-based sensors. The size and quality of detectors continues to advance, and these proceedings include several papers from manufacturers presenting their latest products, followed by papers from users who explain how the detectors work in practice. Since CMOS technology is encroaching into domains dominated by CCDs, the workshop was peppered with entertaining sparring between the two camps.
As our sensors are not perfect, an important aspect of our community's work is the testing and characterization of devices, and a day of the workshop concentrated on Sensor Testing. In this area, a breakthrough paper was presented by Gert Finger on the measurement of conversion gain of CMOS-based sensors. We learned that the "photon transfer curve" used to measure electrons per data number can be in error for some hybrid CMOS arrays. The amount of error depends on the pixel size, the readout design, the detector material and details of hybrid fabrication. After the workshop, many participants hurried back to their laboratories to take their own measurements of this phenomenon.
On the last day of the workshop, we heard presentations on the new generation of control electronics being developed at many institutions. These controllers are required for handling the large amount of readout ports and high data rates of ever larger mosaics of detectors. This session included two papers on ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) that integrate a complete controller onto a silicon chip. ASICs have significantly progressed since the 2002 meeting, having demonstrated performance that convinced NASA to choose ASICs for the control electronics of the James Webb Space Telescope.
The workshop participants were treated to two special presentations. The opening talk of the workshop was given by Roberto Gilmozzi, principal investigator of the OWL 100-meter telescope. Roberto presented a vision of the future of astronomy and the need for square meters of detectors (at a good price!) in the era of extremely large telescopes. Looking into our cultural past, Maurizio Seracini showed how x-ray, visible and infrared sensors are used to assess the provenance and quality of ancient works of art.
As all who attend technical meetings know, the highlights of these meetings are not the formal presentations, but the informal discussions over coffee and dinner. This meeting series addresses that reality with a hotel facility that keeps participants together for meals and a schedule that includes a strong cultural program that exposes the participants to the host region. Activities included a tour of the ancient city of Taormina, an evening trip to a small hilltop town with a pizza dinner under a full moon, and an afternoon trip to a local winery for a tour and classic Sicilian lunch. The conference dinner, held outdoors in a garden by the sea, concluded with an amazing show of fireworks. The program for spouses and guests included two daylong tours to World Heritage sites. Over 60 family members accompanied participants to the meeting, and with children running about during the receptions, the meeting had a very friendly feeling.
The workshop was made possible by the volunteer effort of a large number of people. The Observatory of Catania put in a tremendous amount of effort as the Local Organizing Committee and host institution. We thank their Director, Santo Catalano, for his excellent leadership and we are grateful to all of the observatory staff that helped make this meeting run smoothly.
The Scientific Organizing Committee made significant contributions over the course of 18 months including: selection of the workshop location, definition of the technical programme, chairing of sessions, selection of award winners, and review of papers. We greatly appreciate their dedication and expertise.
This workshop would not have been possible without the tremendous financial and in-kind support of several Italian government organizations and companies from Europe, North America and Hawaii. Many thanks to these sponsors who are listed in the workshop organization pages.
The Hotel Naxos Beach provided us with an excellent facility. We enjoyed comfortable rooms, good food, and the hotel staff were extremely helpful, providing excellent service at every turn. We especially thank Angela Raiti, Massimo Andrighetti, Eva Levander and Gianluca Taglialegne. We also thank Roberta Barbagallo and Lachea Tour for ensuring that bus transport and cultural activities ran like clockwork.
"Mille grazie" to Giovanna Cimino and Giovanni Bonnano for a wonderful partnership over a period of 3 years. We greatly appreciate the personal time and attention they gave to make this workshop an enriching cultural experience for all. We are lucky to have made lifelong friends in the process.
Lastly, we thank the Beletic family who supported this workshop with their energy, time and patience. We also thank Jason Henning for his selfless contributions at critical times.
We hope that you enjoy these proceedings and that you continue to enjoy your adventure as one of the "Explorers of the Photon Odyssey".
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(from left to right:
The editors and the publisher. Paola Amico, Jenna E. Beletic, Sonja Japenga, James W. Beletic)
The Scientific Detector Workshop 2005 was made possible by a partnership of institutions, committees, sponsors and individuals who worked together to produce an outstanding technical workshop that brought together the world's leaders in detector technology for astronomy. The parties listed below donated their time, financial support or in-kind contributions, and we are very grateful for their contributions.
James W. Beletic Paola Amico
This is the 4th detector workshop organized by James Beletic and Paola Amico. The previous three were held in Germany (1996, 1999) and Hawaii (2002).
Scientific Workshop Factory
Thousand Oaks, California, USA Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica - Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania
Catania, Sicily, Italy
The Scientific Workshop Factory provided overall coordination, development of the scientific programme, and publication of the proceedings. The Observatory was responsible for local organization of facilities, cultural activities, preparation of materials, and support staff during the meeting. This collaboration was very successful and enjoyable. Much credit and "mille grazie " go to the Observatory Director, Santo Catalano, for his leadership.
Lead Coordination in Sicily
Giovanna provided the interface between the organizing institutions, and she planned facility arrangements and cultural activities. Giovanni was the originator of the Sicily meeting concept and he put in a lot of time and effort to make this dream come true.
Scientific Organizing Committee
James W. Beletic, Chair Paola Amico, Co-Chair Morley Blouke Giovanni Bonanno Barry Burke Randall Campbell Mark Clampin Mark Downing
Gert Finger Alan Hoffman PaulJorden Ralf Kohley Gerry Luppino Fernando Pedichini Gustavo Rahmer Doug Simons
The Scientific Organizing Committee was responsible for the technical content of the workshop. Among their responsibilities were the definition of the scientific programme, chairing sessions, selection of award recipients, and reviewing papers for the proceedings.
Local Organizing Committee
Santo Catalano, Chair Giovanni Bonanno, Co-Chair Massimiliano Belluso Antonio Cali Giovanna Cimino
Piero Massimino Daniela Recupero Luigia Santagati Salvo Scuderi
The Local Organizing Committee coordinated all aspects of the workshop in Sicily, including meeting facilities, Internet connection, computer support, photography, printing, local souvenirs, registration support and hosting of cultural activities.
Sponsors e2v technologies GL scientific
Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica Raytheon vision systems Rockwell Scientific Company ST Microeletronics
Fairchild Imaging Hitec2000
Medianet Comunicazioni Regione Siciliana SciMeasure Analytical Systems Università di Catania
The quality of this workshop would not have been possible without the financial and in-kind support from the institutions listed above in alphabetical order. These institutions and companies sponsored facilities rental, workshop receptions, Taormina tour, Internet service, and giveaways such as mugs, portfolios and flavors of Sicily.
Welcome From Catania Observatory Director
Presented by Santo Catalano on Monday, 20 June 2005
It is a great privilege and honour, on behalf of the Local Organizing Committee, and as Director of the host institute, to welcome you to the Scientific Detector Workshop 2005 in Taormina, Sicily.
I must confess that when Giovanni Bonanno and Giovanna Cimino proposed hosting the SDW 2005 in Sicily, I was somewhat worried due to the particular characteristics of this workshop series. My concern grew when I discovered that Sicily had indeed been chosen. However, my apprehension vanished when I met our partners Jim Beletic and Paola Amico. I realised that together we were capable of organizing a superior scientific meeting.
I am very proud and happy to see the number and diversity of attendees, who have travelled from as far as Australia, China, Chile and Hawaii. I imagine that for some of you Sicily is a remote island and Catania an unknown city. Therefore, let me express my personal gratitude to the members of the Scientific Organizing Committee for choosing Sicily as the host of the SDW 2005. This is an important opportunity for us, not only for awareness of leading scientists and engineers of our observatory and detector group, but also for the exposure of the vast cultural and historical heritage of Sicily.
This workshop would not have been possible without the support of local sponsors and institutions. We are very grateful to acknowledge the vital financial support from our National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF), whose President Prof. Piero Benvenuti is in attendance today. I also wish to thank several local sponsors, institutions and companies who contributed additional funds and technology to this meeting: the President of Regione Sicilia for his high patronage, the Rector of Catania University, ST Microelectronics of Catania, Hitec 2000, the Soprintendente ai Beni Culturali e Ambientali from Messina, and Medianet Comunicazioni. The secretariat office, the internet connection, airport logistics, and having things run smoothly at the Naxos Beach Resort during the meeting is the result of the hard work and dedication of a number of people from our Observatory who I wish to specially thank: M. Belluso, A. Call, A. Costa, A. Giuffrida, P. Massimino, D. Recupero, G. Santagati. I would also like to thank our students K. Biazzo, S. Billotta, D. Gandolfi, and L. Spezzi for their help during the meeting, and Mrs. Roberta Barbagallo from Lachea Tour and Giovanna Cimino for their excellent assistance.
I wish all of you a very fruitful meeting and hope that you enjoy your stay in Sicily. I assure you that we will do our best to make this an unforgettable meeting.
Santo Catalano, Director INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Catania
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