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Center Independent Research & Development: GSFC IRAD

PIXIE Precision Technology Demonstration

Completed Technology Project
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Project Description

Pixie Detector

The Electro-Thermal Characterization of a Multi-Moded Bolometer characterize the electrical and thermal performance of large multi-moded bolometers for a new generation of far-infrared instrumentation. Multi-moded systems provide distinct advantages compared to current single-moded designs. By collecting more photons on each detector, multi-moded designs improve sensitivity by an order of magnitude.  One multi-moded detector can thus replace 100 single-moded detectors, providing two orders of magnitude reduction in detector count while simplifying instrument design, integration, and testing.

The project work will test a far-IR detector with 30 times the absorbing area as the bolometers flown on the Planck mission. Multi-moded systems provide distinct advantages compared to current single-moded designs. By collecting more photons on each detector, multi-moded designs improve sensitivity by an order of magnitude. One multi-moded detector can thus replace 100 single-moded detectors, providing two orders of magnitude reduction in detector count while simplifying instrument design, integration, and testing.

Additionally, we will extend the detector capabilities to include the much higher optical loads encountered during use in stratospheric balloon payloads.

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