We have developed a 16-inch ultraviolet-ray image intensifier (UVII) tube to form the spherical focal surface of the All-sky Survey High Resolution Air-shower Detector (Ashra) telescope, a new air fluorescence and Cerenkov detector to observe TeV gamma rays, very high energy neutrinos, and extremely high energy cosmic rays. The UVII has a very large effective photocathode area of 16-inch diameter and reduces an image size to 1-inch diameter using the electric lens effect. This enables us to use a solid-state imager to take focal surface images in the Ashra telescope. Thus, UVII is a key technology for the Ashra experiment to realize a much lower pixel cost in comparison with other experiments using photomultiplier arrays at the focal surface. The UVII achieves a high resolution of 3.4 Lp/mm at the input window. The output screen of the UVII is made of a fiber optic plate (FOP) with a concave shape to optimize the electric lens configuration under the fixed curvature of input window. This results in an almost uniform resolution over the whole sensitive area. We have adopted a P47 phosphor screen with a 10% decay time of ∼100 ns and have obtained an amplification factor of about 100. In this paper we present the design, construction, and performance of the 16-inch UVII.
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