Superconducting detector array successfully deployed through NIST collaboration. (News Briefs).
In collaboration with the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center on June 2, 2001, NIST successfully deployed a new type of superconducting detector at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The FIBRE instrument consists of a FabryPerot spectrometer with an 8 pixel detector array of superconducting transition-edge sensor (TES) bobmeters. The array is read out using a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) multiplexer. Both the bolometer array and the SQUID multiplexers were invented and fabricated at NIST. This technology is a revolutionary breakthrough for materials analysis, astronomical and other photon detection applications. FIBRE is the first astronomical demonstration of both TES submillimeter bolometers and SQUID multiplexers. Although the weather was extremely poor, the spectrometer detected the limb of the moon with a spectral resolving power of = 1100 at a wavelength of 365 [micro]m. In better weather conditions, FIBRE will be used to study CO rotational lin es and the fine structure line of Cl in distant galaxies.
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