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17 February 2003 Superconducting Bolometer Array Architectures
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The next generation of far-infrared and submillimeter instruments require large arrays of detectors containing thousands of elements. These arrays will necessarily be multiplexed, and superconducting bolometer arrays are the most promising present prospect for these detectors. We discuss our current research into superconducting bolometer array technologies, which has recently resulted in the first multiplexed detections of submillimeter light and the first multiplexed astronomical observations. Prototype arrays containing 512 pixels are in production using the Pop-Up Detector (PUD) architecture, which can be extended easily to 1000 pixel arrays. Planar arrays of close-packed bolometers are being developed for the GBT and for future space missions. For certain applications, such as a slewed far-infrared sky survey, feedhorn-coupling of a large sparsely-filled array of bolometers is desirable, and is being developed using photolithographic feedhorn arrays. Individual detectors have achieved a Noise Equivalent Power (NEP) of ~10-17 W/√Hz at 300mK, but several orders of magnitude improvement are required and can be reached with existing technology. The testing of such ultralow-background detectors will prove difficult, as this requires optical loading of below 1fW. Antenna-coupled bolometer designs have advantages for large format array designs at low powers due to their mode selectivity. We also present a design and preliminary results for an enhanced-dynamic-range transition edge sensor suitable for broadband ultralow-background detectors.
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Dominic J. Benford, James A. Chervenak, Kent D. Irwin, S. Harvey Moseley Jr., Richard A. Shafer, Johannes G. Staguhn, and Ed Wollack "Superconducting Bolometer Array Architectures", Proc. SPIE 4855, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy, (17 February 2003);

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