SPARTA: X-Spectrum develops a new high-speed AGIPD-based X-ray detector

Six and a half million frames per second – with this impressive frame rate, SPARTA will be available from mid 2021. This development is made possible by the support of the Investitions- und Förderbank Hamburg.

SPARTA is based on the AGIPD detector chips developed by a consortium led by DESY for the European X-ray laser European XFEL. The performance is unique in the world: 352 images in burst mode at a frame rate of up to 6.5 MHz are buffered so that data sets with the highest temporal resolution are available for subsequent analysis.

“While AGIPD is optimized for the unique requirements of the European XFEL, SPARTA will make the advantages of this technology available to every laboratory,” explains CEO Dr. Julian Becker. To this end, for example, the entire cooling technology and readout electronics will be reduced in size. While AGIPD at the XFEL has a total weight of more than half a ton, SPARTA will have a weight in the range of several tens of kilograms, depending on the desired detector size.

Like X-Spectrum’s successful LAMBDA detector line, SPARTA will also be available in different sensor sizes. A single detector module consists of 128×512 pixels with a pixel size of 200 µm. The dynamic range is impressive: From the detection of single photons up to 10^11 photons per second per detector, the X-ray quanta in the range 3-13 keV are cleanly converted into pixel data. And SPARTA is also suitable for harder radiation: The high-Z version extends the range up to 100 keV.

X-Spectrum will be the only vendor to use the AGIPD sensor. This makes SPARTA the best platform for real high-speed X-ray images in your laboratory. “With its technical specifications, SPARTA is complementary to our LAMBDA detectors. SPARTA excels at extremely high speeds, LAMBDA delivers the highest spatial resolution”, Julian Becker sums up.

With the support of the Investitions- und Förderbank Hamburg, the growth of X-Spectrum can be long-term consolidated by expanding the product range. X-Spectrum GmbH is a spin-off of the DESY research centre at the Hamburg site and currently offers 14 highly-qualified employees an exciting and secure job in an innovative environment.