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Development of SQUID-based multiplexers for large Infrared-to-X-ray imaging detector arrays in astronomical research from space (: E-SQUID)
Start date: Jan 1, 2011, End date: Aug 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Recently, research in astrophysics has yielded amazing new insight in the origin, evolution and structure of the Universe, and fundamental processes governing this highly dynamical system. Most of this progress was achieved thanks to the availability of extremely sensitive detectors. Common features for such detectors are extremely low noise and very small background, and the main solutions for achieving this are based on extremely low operating temperature allowing measurement of signal in superconducting phase. Space-based applications using superconducting technology, however, are rare and considerable effort is being put in their development. In this critical field, European technology has recently fallen notably behind the state of the art defined by the USA. We will use Transition Edge Sensor (TES), Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector (MKID), and Metallic Magnetic Calorimeter (MMC) detector arrays and develop readout systems using multiplexed Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID) amplifiers for focal plane sensor arrays in the X-rays, optical and far infrared wavelengths. The above detector concept has potential for use in a wide range of space missions, and it has also applications in other fields of research outside astronomy, where weak photon signals are measured with high accuracy. The main aim of this project is to improve the European technology readiness level (TRL) and brigde the gap to the global state-of-the-art and advance European independence in the above key technology. The partners of this collaborative project are the key developers of SQUID technology in Europe (VTT Finland, IPHT Germany), and represent the highest international level of scientific expertise in astrophysics research and instrument development (SRON Netherlands, University of Leicester United Kingdom, Max-Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy Germany, and University of Helsinki Finland). Also two SME partners are involved in minor supporting work packages."

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