SPACEKIDS LOGO
An array of KID detectors manufactured at SRON. The large chip in the centre has 5400 KID pixels.

The Kinetic Inductance Detector (KID) is a new superconducting detector technology suitable for detection of electromagnetic radiation at far infrared to millimetre wavelengths. It offers the promise of excellent sensitivity combined with ease of operation in space. The SPACEKIDS project will focus on developments needed to enable this technology for space.

Future space science and Earth observation missions are limited by the availability of imaging detector array technology for the mm-FIR wavelength range (3 mm to 30 μm). For the wavelength range 28-45 μm there is currently no high performance technology with space heritage. For longer wavelengths, 45-2000 μm, there is European expertise in a range of detector technologies, including photoconductors, bolometers, and transition edge superconducting (TES) detectors. However these technologies present significant fabrication difficulties, and lead to a high degree of complexity of system integration and readout electronics for the large format arrays demanded by the next generation of astronomical and Earth observing missions.

The KID is a relatively new and potentially game-changing superconducting detector technology which provides photon noise limited sensitivity over the entire FIR/mm-wavelength range and can be adapted for a variety of science goals enabling completely novel instrument concepts. KIDs are extremely simple both to fabricate and to integrate. Fabrication of a KID array requires a small number (i.e. 1-3) of standard processing steps of metal deposition and patterning. Crucially, they can be read out with a high multiplexing ratio which dramatically reduces the complexity of cryogenic interconnections, cabling and electronics enabling larger format arrays than ever before. The reduction in complexity at the cryogenic level in contrast with other ultra-sensitive low temperature detectors is extremely attractive and makes the KID technology relevant to future sensitive imaging and spectroscopic systems. On top of this KIDs can be integrated with planar superconducting THz components to produce on-chip spectrometers with low to medium-high resolution (R=5-1000). This will provide the capability to target any desired number of spectroscopic bands in each pixel of a 2-D focal plane array, with the result of a huge reduction in instrument cost, mass and volume over conventional technologies. The KID technology developed in this project will therefore not only provide a dramatic increase in mapping speed for broad band imaging, it will also enable novel applications in spectropolarimetry and hyperspectral imaging.

This project draws together some of the leading European institutes with experience and expertise in FIR detector technology and includes key members who have made the most significant recent advances in the field.

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.

Read more ...

SPACEKIDS Kicks-Off

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

Read more ...
No events found