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Characterization of a submillimeter high-angular-resolution camera with a monolithic silicon bolometer array for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory

Wang, Nina and Hunter, T. R. and Benford, D. J. and Serabyn, E. and Lis, D. C. and Phillips, T. G. and Moseley, S. H. and Bpyce, K. and Szymkowiak, A. and Allen, C. and Mott, B. and Gygax, J. (1996) Characterization of a submillimeter high-angular-resolution camera with a monolithic silicon bolometer array for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. Applied Optics, 35 (34). pp. 6629-6640. ISSN 0003-6935.

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We constructed a 24-pixel bolometer camera operating in the 350- and 450-µm atmospheric windows for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO). This instrument uses a monolithic silicon bolometer array that is cooled to approximately 300 mK by a single-shot 3 He refrigerator. First-stage amplification is provided by field-effect transistors at approximately 130 K. The sky is imaged onto the bolometer array by means of several mirrors outside the Dewar and a cold off-axis elliptical mirror inside the cryostat. The beam is defined by cold aperture and field stops, which eliminates the need for any condensing horns. We describe the instrument, present measurements of the physical properties of the bolometer array, describe the performance of the electronics and the data-acquisition system, and demonstrate the sensitivity of the instrument operating at the observatory. Approximate detector noise at 350 µm is 5 x 10^-15 W/√Hz, referenced to the entrance of the Dewar, and the CSO system noise-equivalent flux density is approximately 4 Jy/√Hz. These values are within a factor of 2.5 of the background limit.

Item Type:Article
Lis, D. C.0000-0002-0500-4700
Additional Information:© 1996 Optical Society of America Received 16 January 1996; revised manuscript received 6 May 1996. We thank the people in the microelectronics lab at the GSFC for fabricating the array, R. Kelley for the FET’s, S. Murphy for many helpful discussions on FET suspension, J. Keene for discussions on filters, and B. Smith for wiring the circuit boards. We thank A. Cleland for helping out with many tests in the laboratory and for many discussions on bolometer physics. D. Vail has made many of the important parts on the cryostat, and people at the central engineering and physics shops at Caltech helped out with many rush jobs. We are grateful for all the help from the CSO staff, in particular, A. Schinckel, K. Young, A. Guyer, and M. Houde. We also thank W. Schaal for help with mechanical designs. This work was supported by National Science Foundation grant AST-9313929. D. J. Benford is supported by a NASA graduate student research fellowship.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Submillimeter camera, bolometer array, monolithic silicon bolometer
Issue or Number:34
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:WANao96
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:5393
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:16 Oct 2006
Last Modified:02 Oct 2019 23:22

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