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 PCOS/COR Technology Development







Astrophysics Program Offices

Technology Gallery

2018

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Slide 1 of 29

PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio


For more information about these technologies visit our Technology Database.

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slide photo
Slide 2 of 29

Thin single-crystal silicon X-ray mirror segment (before trimming)


Significance: World-class thin grazing-angle X-ray mirror technology; baselined for Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Next Generation X-ray Optics: High Resolution, Light Weight, and Low Cost

PI: Zhang, William (GSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 3 of 29

Fully patterned 200-mm X-ray Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating wafer


Significance: Highest-resolution X-ray grating technology; baselined for Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Development of a CAT Grating Spectromete

PI: Mark Schattenburg (MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research)

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slide photo
Slide 4 of 29

Lithographed ‘Polarimeter on a Chip’ enabling large multi-frequency arrays of Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers for Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarimetry


Significance: Developing antenna designs providing sensitivity, stability, and minimized particle susceptibility for bands required by the Inflation Probe, enabling identification of Inflation instants after the Big Bang

Project Title: Planar Antenna-Coupled Superconducting Detectors for CMB Polarimetry

PI: James Bock (JPL/Caltech)

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slide photo
Slide 5 of 29

Lynx X-ray Microcalorimeter (LXM) prototype arrays using Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) – 8” wafers cored down into 4” wafers


Significance: TES microcalorimeters offer energy resolution that may enable future missions such as the Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: TES Microcalorimeters

PI: Caroline Kilbourne (GSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 6 of 29

First Magnetically-Coupled Microcalorimeters (MMCs) fabricated with buried meander coils


Significance: MMCs offer energy resolution that may enable future X-ray missions such as the Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: MMC Arrays for X-ray Astrophysics

PI: Simon Bandler (GSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 7 of 29

X-ray testing of Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer (MaGIXS) replicated shell shows improved results in polished area


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable or enhance future Astrophysics missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Computer-Controlled Polishing of High-Quality Mandrels

PI: Jacqueline Davis (MSFC)

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Slide 8 of 29

CCD image demonstrating improvement in performance after optics figure corrected using differential deposition


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable or enhance future Astrophysics missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Differential Deposition for Figure Correction in X-Ray Optics

PI: Kiranmayee Kilaru (MSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 9 of 29

Aluminum surrogate shell for testing full-shell direct polishing method


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable future X-ray missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Full-Shell Direct Polishing

PI: Stephen Bongiorno (MSFC)

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Slide 10 of 29

MSFC’s novel in-situ stress measurement device to be adapted for measuring stress in coatings deposited on curved X-ray mirror segments


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable future missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Coatings

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 11 of 29

Mold for X-ray optics derived from highly figured and polished mandrels traditionally used for electroforming full-shell X-ray optics


Significance: Low-cost, lightweight, high-quality X-ray optics may enable many future missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Hybrid X-Ray Optics by Additive Manufacturing

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 12 of 29

Curved 10×10 cm2 0.4-mm-thick X-ray mirror sample, with piezo cells mounted on back


Significance: Adjustable X-ray optics are a backup technology for the Lynx X-ray large mission concept

Project Title: Adjustable X-Ray Optics

PI: Paul Reid (SAO)

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Slide 13 of 29

Pre-project 0.25-megapixel front-illuminated (FI) X-ray CCD (left) and 0.5-megapixel FI X-ray CCD designed for the project (right)


Significance: Advanced X-ray detectors may enable the Lynx large mission concept

Project Title: Toward Fast, Low-Noise, Radiation Tolerant X-ray Imaging Arrays for Lynx: Raising Technology Readiness Further

PI: Mark Bautz (MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research)

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Slide 14 of 29

Measuring Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD) Reflectance


Significance: Replacing windows of commercially available DMDs may enable far-UV multi-object spectrometry in future missions

Project Title: Development of DMDs for Far-UV Applications

PI: Zoran Ninkov (RIT)

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Slide 15 of 29

Kevlar suspension system designed for Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (CADR) cooling system


Significance: This advanced sub-Kelvin cooling technology has been baselined by Lynx, Origins, PICO, and GEP

Project Title: High-Efficiency Continuous Cooling for Cryogenic Instruments and sub-Kelvin Detectors

PI: James Tuttle (GSFC)

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Slide 16 of 29

Detector unit cell design of interposer substrate with through-wafer vias for connecting 2D super-conducting detectors to cold readout electronics


Significance: This new technique may enable the Origins large mission concept

Project Title: Development of a Robust, Efficient Process to Produce Scalable, Superconducting Kilopixel Far-IR Detector Arrays

PI: Johannes Staguhn (JHU & GSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 17 of 29

Ionospheric Connection (ICON) Explorer UV optics coated by this GSFC group


Significance: High far-UV reflectance is prevented by oxidation of aluminum mirrors; removing it may enable future far-UV missions

Project Title: E-Beam-Generated Plasma Etching for Developing High-Reflectance Mirrors for Far-UV Astronomical Instrument Applications

PI: Manuel Quijada (GSFC)

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Slide 18 of 29

Hermetic and RF seals for testing Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) bolometers


Significance: Extremely sensitive far-IR detectors may enable future missions

Project Title: Ultra-Sensitive Bolometers for Far-IR Space Spectroscopy at the Background Limit

PI: C. Matt Bradford (JPL)

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Slide 19 of 29

Optimized device designs needed for 16-pixel 1.9-THz heterodyne detector


Significance: Further development of this high-resolution far-IR detector technology to higher pixel numbers may enable or enhance future missions

Project Title: Development of High-Resolution Far-IR Arrays

PI: Imran Mehdi (JPL)

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Slide 20 of 29

Thermal optical test of ULE® mirror at MSFC X-Ray & Cryogenic Facility (XRCF)


Significance: This technology may enable required ultra-stability (~10 pm) for HabEx and LUVOIR missions

Project Title: Predictive Thermal Control (PTC) Technology to enable Thermally Stable Telescopes

PI: H. Philip Stahl (MSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 21 of 29

Frequency-Domain Multiplexing (FDM) bolometer readout (SQUID, Superconducting QUantum Interference Device)


Significance: This and related technologies may enable future Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) missions, e.g. LiteBIRD

Project Title: Technology Development for LiteBIRD and other CMB Missions

PI: Adrian T. Lee (UC Berkeley)

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Slide 22 of 29

First large-format array of electrostatically activated microshutter arrays on a 6” wafer process (top left) compared to array developed for JWST (bottom right)


Significance:May enable sparse-field multi-object spectroscopy for e.g. LUVOIR, HabEx, CETUS, and/or AERIE

Project Title: Scalable Microshutter Systems for UV, Visible, and IR Spectroscopy

PI: Matt Greenhouse (GSFC)

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slide photo
Slide 23 of 29

CsI opaque photocathode deposited onto a 20-µm-pore, 33-mm, 60:1 L/d, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) with MgO and 13⁰-pore-bias


Significance: This detector technology is baselined by HabEx, LUVOIR, and CETUS for UV/Visible light detection

Project Title: High-Performance Sealed-Tube Cross-Strip (XS) Photon-Counting Sensors for UV-Vis Astrophysics Instruments

PI: Oswald Siegmund (UC Berkeley)

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Slide 24 of 29

X-ray Raman spectroscopy (XRS)/ Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) experiment on the Flash EBIT at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser (Nature, 12/2012)


Significance: The project supports NASA X-ray observatories by developing similar instruments in ground-based labs, replicating conditions in astrophysical sources observed by spaceflight instruments, and observing them parametrically to help interpret space-based data

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: Lab Spectroscopy for Space Atomic Physics

PI: F. Scott Porter (GSFC)

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slide image
Slide 25 of 29

Detector-integrated multilayer AlF3 /Al filters


Significance: Advanced detectors developed by this project are baselined by SHIELDS, HabEx, LUVOIR, and ground facilities are fabricated using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) coatin

Project Title: Advanced FUV/UV/Visible Photon-Counting and Ultralow-Noise Detectors

PI: Shouleh Nikzad (JPL/Caltech)

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slide image
Slide 26 of 29

100×100 mm2 Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) detector with ASIC electronics qualified for flight


Significance: Large-format low-noise detectors may enable future far-UV missions

Project Title: Development of 100×100 mm2 photon-counting UV detectors

PI: John Vallerga (UC Berkeley)

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slide image
Slide 27 of 29

Array of Distributed Feedback (DFB) lasers at ~4.7 THz; the harmonic mixer is used to phase-lock the Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) Local Oscillator (LO)


Significance: This technology provides 4.7-THz LOs, enabling far-IR/sub-mm missions such as the balloon-borne Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO)

Project Title: Raising the Technology Readiness of 4.7-THz local oscillators

PI: Qing Hu (MIT)

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slide image
Slide 28 of 29

ASU Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition (PEALD) system for fluoride mirror coatings


Significance: High-reflectance UV coatings would vastly improve system throughput for photon-starved UV astronomy; this system attempted to develop advanced technique for depositing high-reflectance UV coatings

Project Title: Improving UV Coatings and Filters using Innovative Materials Deposited by ALD

PI: Paul Scowen (ASU)

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Slide 29 of 29

Ultra-stable chamber built to test few-picometer-level metrology technology


Significance: Ultra-stability and -precision (~10 pm) may enable the HabEx and LUVOIR missions

Project Title: Ultra-Stable Structures

PI: Babak Saif (GSFC)

slide image
PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio

PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio


For more information about these technologies visit our Technology Database.




slide image

Thin single-crystal silicon X-ray mirror segment (before trimming)


Significance: World-class thin grazing-angle X-ray mirror technology; baselined for Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Next Generation X-ray Optics: High Resolution, Light Weight, and Low Cost

PI: Zhang, William (GSFC)




slide image

Fully patterned 200-mm X-ray Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating wafer


Significance: Highest-resolution X-ray grating technology; baselined for Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Development of a CAT Grating Spectromete

PI: Mark Schattenburg (MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research)




slide image

Lithographed ‘Polarimeter on a Chip’ enabling large multi-frequency arrays of Transition Edge Sensor (TES) bolometers for Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) polarimetry


Significance: Developing antenna designs providing sensitivity, stability, and minimized particle susceptibility for bands required by the Inflation Probe, enabling identification of Inflation instants after the Big Bang

Project Title: Planar Antenna-Coupled Superconducting Detectors for CMB Polarimetry

PI: James Bock (JPL/Caltech)




slide image

Lynx X-ray Microcalorimeter (LXM) prototype arrays using Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) – 8” wafers cored down into 4” wafers


Significance: TES microcalorimeters offer energy resolution that may enable future missions such as the Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: TES Microcalorimeters

PI: Caroline Kilbourne (GSFC)




slide image

First Magnetically-Coupled Microcalorimeters (MMCs) fabricated with buried meander coils


Significance: MMCs offer energy resolution that may enable future X-ray missions such as the Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: MMC Arrays for X-ray Astrophysics

PI: Simon Bandler (GSFC)




slide image

X-ray testing of Marshall Grazing Incidence X-ray Spectrometer (MaGIXS) replicated shell shows improved results in polished area


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable or enhance future Astrophysics missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Computer-Controlled Polishing of High-Quality Mandrels

PI: Jacqueline Davis (MSFC)




slide image

CCD image demonstrating improvement in performance after optics figure corrected using differential deposition


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable or enhance future Astrophysics missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Differential Deposition for Figure Correction in X-Ray Optics

PI: Kiranmayee Kilaru (MSFC)




slide image

Aluminum surrogate shell for testing full-shell direct polishing method


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable future X-ray missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Full-Shell Direct Polishing

PI: Stephen Bongiorno (MSFC)




slide image

MSFC’s novel in-situ stress measurement device to be adapted for measuring stress in coatings deposited on curved X-ray mirror segments


Significance: High-quality X-ray optics may enable future missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Coatings

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)




slide image

Mold for X-ray optics derived from highly figured and polished mandrels traditionally used for electroforming full-shell X-ray optics


Significance: Low-cost, lightweight, high-quality X-ray optics may enable many future missions

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Hybrid X-Ray Optics by Additive Manufacturing

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)




slide image

Curved 10×10 cm2 0.4-mm-thick X-ray mirror sample, with piezo cells mounted on back


Significance: Adjustable X-ray optics are a backup technology for the Lynx X-ray large mission concept

Project Title: Adjustable X-Ray Optics

PI: Paul Reid (SAO)




slide image

Pre-project 0.25-megapixel front-illuminated (FI) X-ray CCD (left) and 0.5-megapixel FI X-ray CCD designed for the project (right)


Significance: Advanced X-ray detectors may enable the Lynx large mission concept

Project Title: Toward Fast, Low-Noise, Radiation Tolerant X-ray Imaging Arrays for Lynx: Raising Technology Readiness Further

PI: Mark Bautz (MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research)




slide image

Measuring Digital Micro-mirror Device (DMD) Reflectance


Significance: Replacing windows of commercially available DMDs may enable far-UV multi-object spectrometry in future missions

Project Title: Development of DMDs for Far-UV Applications

PI: Zoran Ninkov (RIT)




slide image

Kevlar suspension system designed for Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (CADR) cooling system


Significance: This advanced sub-Kelvin cooling technology has been baselined by Lynx, Origins, PICO, and GEP

Project Title: High-Efficiency Continuous Cooling for Cryogenic Instruments and sub-Kelvin Detectors

PI: James Tuttle (GSFC)




slide image

Detector unit cell design of interposer substrate with through-wafer vias for connecting 2D super-conducting detectors to cold readout electronics


Significance: This new technique may enable the Origins large mission concept

Project Title: Development of a Robust, Efficient Process to Produce Scalable, Superconducting Kilopixel Far-IR Detector Arrays

PI: Johannes Staguhn (JHU & GSFC)




slide image

Ionospheric Connection (ICON) Explorer UV optics coated by this GSFC group


Significance: High far-UV reflectance is prevented by oxidation of aluminum mirrors; removing it may enable future far-UV missions

Project Title: E-Beam-Generated Plasma Etching for Developing High-Reflectance Mirrors for Far-UV Astronomical Instrument Applications

PI: Manuel Quijada (GSFC)




slide image

Hermetic and RF seals for testing Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) bolometers


Significance: Extremely sensitive far-IR detectors may enable future missions

Project Title: Ultra-Sensitive Bolometers for Far-IR Space Spectroscopy at the Background Limit

PI: C. Matt Bradford (JPL)




slide image

Optimized device designs needed for 16-pixel 1.9-THz heterodyne detector


Significance: Further development of this high-resolution far-IR detector technology to higher pixel numbers may enable or enhance future missions

Project Title: Development of High-Resolution Far-IR Arrays

PI: Imran Mehdi (JPL)




slide image

Thermal optical test of ULE® mirror at MSFC X-Ray & Cryogenic Facility (XRCF)


Significance: This technology may enable required ultra-stability (~10 pm) for HabEx and LUVOIR missions

Project Title: Predictive Thermal Control (PTC) Technology to enable Thermally Stable Telescopes

PI: H. Philip Stahl (MSFC)




slide image

Frequency-Domain Multiplexing (FDM) bolometer readout (SQUID, Superconducting QUantum Interference Device)


Significance: This and related technologies may enable future Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) missions, e.g. LiteBIRD

Project Title: Technology Development for LiteBIRD and other CMB Missions

PI: Adrian T. Lee (UC Berkeley)




slide image

First large-format array of electrostatically activated microshutter arrays on a 6” wafer process (top left) compared to array developed for JWST (bottom right)


Significance:May enable sparse-field multi-object spectroscopy for e.g. LUVOIR, HabEx, CETUS, and/or AERIE

Project Title: Scalable Microshutter Systems for UV, Visible, and IR Spectroscopy

PI: Matt Greenhouse (GSFC)




slide image

CsI opaque photocathode deposited onto a 20-µm-pore, 33-mm, 60:1 L/d, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) with MgO and 13⁰-pore-bias


Significance: This detector technology is baselined by HabEx, LUVOIR, and CETUS for UV/Visible light detection

Project Title: High-Performance Sealed-Tube Cross-Strip (XS) Photon-Counting Sensors for UV-Vis Astrophysics Instruments

PI: Oswald Siegmund (UC Berkeley)




slide image

X-ray Raman spectroscopy (XRS)/ Electron Beam Ion Trap (EBIT) experiment on the Flash EBIT at the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) X-ray laser (Nature, 12/2012)


Significance: The project supports NASA X-ray observatories by developing similar instruments in ground-based labs, replicating conditions in astrophysical sources observed by spaceflight instruments, and observing them parametrically to help interpret space-based data

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: Lab Spectroscopy for Space Atomic Physics

PI: F. Scott Porter (GSFC)




slide image

Detector-integrated multilayer AlF3 /Al filters


Significance: Advanced detectors developed by this project are baselined by SHIELDS, HabEx, LUVOIR, and ground facilities are fabricated using Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) coatin

Project Title: Advanced FUV/UV/Visible Photon-Counting and Ultralow-Noise Detectors

PI: Shouleh Nikzad (JPL/Caltech)




slide image

100×100 mm2 Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) detector with ASIC electronics qualified for flight


Significance: Large-format low-noise detectors may enable future far-UV missions

Project Title: Development of 100×100 mm2 photon-counting UV detectors

PI: John Vallerga (UC Berkeley)




slide image

Array of Distributed Feedback (DFB) lasers at ~4.7 THz; the harmonic mixer is used to phase-lock the Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL) Local Oscillator (LO)


Significance: This technology provides 4.7-THz LOs, enabling far-IR/sub-mm missions such as the balloon-borne Galactic/Extragalactic ULDB Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory (GUSTO)

Project Title: Raising the Technology Readiness of 4.7-THz local oscillators

PI: Qing Hu (MIT)




slide image

ASU Plasma-Enhanced Atomic Layer Deposition (PEALD) system for fluoride mirror coatings


Significance: High-reflectance UV coatings would vastly improve system throughput for photon-starved UV astronomy; this system attempted to develop advanced technique for depositing high-reflectance UV coatings

Project Title: Improving UV Coatings and Filters using Innovative Materials Deposited by ALD

PI: Paul Scowen (ASU)




slide image

Ultra-stable chamber built to test few-picometer-level metrology technology


Significance: Ultra-stability and -precision (~10 pm) may enable the HabEx and LUVOIR missions

Project Title: Ultra-Stable Structures

PI: Babak Saif (GSFC)







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