The Kinetic Inductance Detector (KID) is a new superconducting detector technology offering the promise of excellent sensitivity and ease of operation in space. Only a few simple metal deposition and patterning processing steps are needed in the manufacture, and many pixels can be read out simultaneously and very simply. These features make KID detectors very attractive for future space missions.
The purpose of the SPACEKIDS project is to develop and demonstrate the capabilities and the suitability of Kinetic Inductance Detectors for use in future space science and Earth observing missions working at far infrared to millimetre wavelengths.
The project brings together world-leading groups from several European countries, and will consolidate and extend Europe’s expertise and capabilities in state-of-the-art far infrared detectors and instrumentation. Besides opening up new scientific possibilities for future space satellites, this will help to establish European capability and independence in key technologies and sustain a technically advanced economy in Europe.
Kinetic Inductance Detectors are relatively new technology. So far, basic manufacturing and operating techniques, and excellent scientific performance have been demonstrated for ground-based applications. SPACEKIDS will advance this to the next stage, in which complete systems representative of space instruments will be built and evaluated – bringing it to the level of maturity and credibility needed for implementation in space missions.