Photon counting detector for high repetition rate optical time transfer providing extremely high data yield
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A photon counting detector that has been optimized for optical time transfer experiments is presented. The newly developed detector’s operational scheme enables us to achieve very high useful data yields exceeding 50 % while still maintaining pure single photon operation and wide dynamical range. The photon counting detector was designed and approved for operation also in a space environment. Its construction is extremely rugged and compact. The long-term detection delay stability in the sense of time deviation is excellent—typically 200 fs for averaging times of hours. The change of the detection delay with temperature is typically below 260 fs/K. Both the detector and its operational scheme might be employed in optical time transfer experiments on single photon signal level. Another attractive application is foreseen in future space missions, where a photon counting device providing subpicosecond timing stability and radiation tolerance is required.
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