SPACEKIDS LOGO

An array of L-Band (left) and H-Band (right) KID detectors manufactured at SRON.

 

The purpose of this collaboration is to bring together the leading European groups to develop KID arrays with specifications tailored towards the most relevant future space missions.

Arrays of KIDs have demonstrated state-of-the-art performance in ground-based mm-wave and sub-mm instruments. We will address areas of KID development which are crucial for adapting this technology for use in space-based instruments:

  1. electromagnetic design of KID arrays to increase the multiplexing ratio and uniformity of responsivity,
  2. optimization of KID performance in the presence of cosmic ray flux representative of a space environment,
  3. optimization of KID sensitivity and optical coupling for different levels of optical loading and wavelength coverage,
  4. demonstration of wide band FPGA based digital electronics coupled to large format KID arrays.
First delivery of readout electronics developed for SPACEKIDs.

Photon noise limited sensitivity has already been demonstrated by us for narrow bandwidth antenna-coupled KIDs at a high background loading. Extending this to broader band is straightforward from a KID perspective, but requires the adaptation of novel antenna technologies, originally developed for 10-70 GHz, or changing absorber coupling schemes. Reaching photon noise limited performance at the lowest background loading powers, present in astronomical spectroscopic missions, requires significant development of detectors, and of the detector materials.
Our understanding of cosmic ray susceptibility of KIDs in current arrays is relatively mature but improving the susceptibility will require modifications of the Si wafers on which we fabricate our devices to confine the hot phonons resulting from a cosmic ray interaction. Improving the number of pixels per readout bandwidth requires a better understanding of microwave cross-talk between resonators. Antenna coupled devices are intrinsically much less prone to cross talk due to their geometry and can already be used with 2 MHz spacing, only a factor 2 from our goal. Absorber coupled devices can be modified to have balanced inductor lines to reduce inductive coupling between resonators. On top of this we will develop a 2 GHz bandwidth readout electronics, capable of reading out low Q and high Q KIDs. Such a readout will be fabricated from commercial components and with help of industry to provide the specialist FPGA firmware development and fast memory access. To test these electronics we plan to fabricate two large focal plane array units (FPA): one FPA will be optimized for high background loading and with low Q factor (Q=10x103), as expected for an Earth observation mission, and one will be optimized for ultra-low background loading with a high Q factor, as envisioned for future astronomical missions. This division between high- and low background test is motivated by the fact that the interface between the electronics and the KIDs is mainly determined by the device Q factor, which is set by the background loading.

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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