Silicon nitride micromesh bolometer arrays for SPIRE
We are developing arrays of bolometers based on silicon nitride micromesh absorbers for the Spectral & Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) on the Far Infra-Red and Submillimeter Space Telescope (FIRST). The bolometers are coupled to a close-packed array of 1 f(lambda) feedhorns which views the primary mirror through a cooled aperture stop. Feedhorn-coupled bolometers minimize the detector area and throughput and have good optical efficiency. A 1 f(lambda) feedhorn array provides, higher mapping speed than a 2 f(lambda) feedhorn array and reduces the number of jitters required to produce a fully sampled map, but at the cost of more detectors. Individual silicon nitride micromesh bolometers are already able to meet the performance requirements of SPIRE. In parallel we are developing transition-edge detectors read out by SQUID current amplifier. The relatively large cooling power available at 300 mK enables the array to be coupled to a cold SQUID multiplexer, creating a monolithic fully multiplexed array and making large format arrays possible for SPIRE.
Additional Information© 1998 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). We would like to thank Matt Griffin and Walter Gear their contributions in the calculation of the mapping speed for the array architectures. The authors acknowledge support from NASA Innovative Research Grant NAG5-3465 and the Advanced Technology Program at JPL.
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