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Two of the applications for KID technology considered within the SPACEKIDs project are astronomy and Earth observation.
Most of the radiation emitted by newly formed stars appears as infrared radiation. Newly formed stars are enshrouded by dust clouds which block out the visible light. This light however is absorbed by the dust clouds and is then re-emitted as infrared. The warmer infrared sources, cool stars, are studied in the same way as optical sources, but instead of using a digital camera, we need special infrared-sensitive detectors. Quite different techniques are needed for cooler sources, which emit far-infrared or submillimetre radiation, and this is the where KID detectors can make a big impact.
But why do we need space detectors? The simple reason is that Earth’s atmosphere blocks most infrared wavelengths, as shown in the image below. In addition, the atmosphere emits its own infrared radiation, as do telescopes. To observe the Universe in the far-infrared from the ground has been compared to trying to view stars on a cloudy day, with a luminous telescope! This has driven several space missions, such as IRAS, ISO, Spitzer, AKARI and Herschel, and future mission studies (SPICA, FIRI, EChO) are in progress.
As mentioned above, the atmosphere also emits FIR-Submm radiation, and we can exploit this signal to give us information on the composition of upper atmospheric cirrus clouds and chemical species, important to constrain global climate and atmospheric physics models. This, of course, requires an Earth-orbiting satellite to implement such observations.

Atmospheric opacity vs. wavelength

Atmospheric opacity

2nd SPACEKIDs workshop

2nd international SPACEKIDs Workshop

The second, and final community workshop will be held on 10th March at the European Space Technology Centre, Noorwijk, Netherlands.

 

2nd SPACEKIDs workshop

2nd international SPACEKIDs Workshop

The second, and final community workshop will be held on 10th March at the European Space Technology Centre, Noorwijk, Netherlands.

 

Announcement of first SPACEKIDs workshop

The first SPACEKIDS workshop has been announced.

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SPACEKIDS Kicks-Off

The SPACEKIDS project "Kick-Off" meeting was held in Cardiff on  28th-29th January, 2013.

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