Devices in the APDCAM product family are ultrafast avalanche photodiode (APD) matrix detector cameras for visible light measurements. Such devices are exclusively manufactured by Fusion Instruments and they fill a gap between individual detectors and fast cameras. We call them “detector camera” as they combine features of a detection system built from individual detectors and a standard camera system with a 2D sensor.
In a custom-built detector system the user selects the appropriate light detector based on the knowledge of light level and frequency requirements. The detector signals are amplified and analog signals digitized in some Data Acquisition System to be finally captured and analysed in a computer. The system can be highly optimized but the user has to invest a considerable effort to build it from the individual elements.
In contrast to a detector system a camera is a standalone unit where the sensor contains a large number of detector elements which are read out by a limited number of ADCs to form images in the computer. Commercially available cameras read out the full sensor from 20 Hz to a few 10 kHz. Thus camera systems offer a convenient solution where high resolution is needed and the imaging rate is up to the 10 kHz range.
The APDCAM family overcomes this problem by combining some features of individual light detectors and digital cameras:
- Large sensor area: twodimensional array of mm-size detectors, 32…128 pixels.
- Avalanche photodiode sensor with internal gain.
- Custom built amplifier for each pixel, parameters optimized for the application.
- Dedicated ADC for each pixel, continuous sampling up to 6 MHz. (Higher frequency with reduced number of pixels.)
- Easy interfacing to computer through 1 Git or 10 Gbit Ethernet.
These features make the APDCAM family the optimal choice where low light level is present and/or MHz speed is needed with limited spatial resolution.
The APDCAM family consist of two major device groups, using different digital technology:
- APDCAM uses 1 Gbit communication and has 32 (4×8) pixels.
- APDCAM-10G uses 10Gbit communication and can use up to four 4×8 pixel blocks.
Both device types use the Hamamatsu S8550-2 APD array as detector.
For an overview of the APDCAM family and its potential applications see our APDCAM family brochure.