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 PCOS/COR Technology Development







Astrophysics Program Offices

Technology Gallery

2020

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PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio

PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio


For more information about these technologies visit our Technology Database.





Single X-ray mirror segment with mounting ridges plus stacked segments with support panel

Single X-ray mirror segment with mounting ridges plus stacked segments with support panel

X Single X-ray mirror segment with mounting ridges plus stacked segments with support panel

Single X-ray mirror segment with mounting ridges plus stacked segments with support panel


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)

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of cleaved freestanding Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of cleaved freestanding Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating

X Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of cleaved freestanding Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images of cleaved freestanding Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating


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

Project Title: High Resolution and High Efficiency X-ray Transmission Grating Spectrometer

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

200-mm wafer patterned with 16 ARCUS-style Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings

200-mm wafer patterned with 16 ARCUS-style Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings

X 200-mm wafer patterned with 16 ARCUS-style Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings

200-mm wafer patterned with 16 ARCUS-style Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings


Significance: Enhances manufacturability of highest-resolution X-ray transmission grating technology; baselined for Lynx X-ray flagship mission concept

Project Title: Readying X-ray Gratings and Optics for Space Applications: Manufacturability and Alignment

PI: Randall Smith (SAO)

Auxiliary boards for reading out superconducting resonators with resonant frequencies from 0.1 – 8 GHz, implemented for ground-based Toltec experiment

Auxiliary boards for reading out superconducting resonators

X Auxiliary boards for reading out superconducting resonators with resonant frequencies from 0.1 – 8 GHz, implemented for ground-based Toltec experiment

Auxiliary boards for reading out superconducting resonators with resonant frequencies from 0.1 – 8 GHz, implemented for ground-based Toltec experiment


Significance: Fast readouts are crucial for large focal plane arrays in future missions

Project Title: Development of Low-Power FPGA-based Readout Electronics for Superconducting Detector Arrays

PI: Philip Mauskopf (ASU)

One of three assembled low-noise detector boards in a panel

One of three assembled low-noise detector boards in a panel

X One of three assembled low-noise detector boards in a panel

One of three assembled low-noise detector boards in a panel


Significance:Low-noise detectors are crucial for future missions

Project Title: A Single-Photon-Sensing and Photon-Number-Resolving Detector for NASA Missions

PI: Don Figer (RIT)

Field-testing detectors in BICEP ground array (Antarctica)

Field-testing detectors in BICEP ground array (Antarctica)

X Field-testing detectors in BICEP ground array (Antarctica)

Field-testing detectors in BICEP ground array (Antarctica)


Significance: CMB polarimetry is crucial for identifying echoes of the Big Bang

Project Title: Superconducting Detectors for Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Polarimetry in PICO

PI: Roger O’Brient (JPL/Caltech)

First prototype Lynx Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) arrays with 25 absorbers

First prototype Lynx Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) arrays with 25 absorbers

X First prototype Lynx Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) arrays with 25 absorbers

First prototype Lynx Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) arrays with 25 absorbers


Significance: High-resolution TES microcalorimeters may enable future X-ray missions such as Lynx

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: TES Microcalorimeters

PI: Caroline Kilbourne (GSFC)

8” wafer with 4” Magnetically-Coupled Microcalorimeter (MMC) X-ray detector core

8” wafer with 4” Magnetically-Coupled Microcalorimeter (MMC) X-ray detector core

X 8” wafer with 4” Magnetically-Coupled Microcalorimeter (MMC) X-ray detector core

8” wafer with 4” Magnetically-Coupled Microcalorimeter (MMC) X-ray detector core


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)

High-resolution metrology to measure polished X-ray optic mandrel

High-resolution metrology to measure polished X-ray optic mandrel

X High-resolution metrology to measure polished X-ray optic mandrel

High-resolution metrology to measure polished X-ray optic mandrel


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)

Active slit for differential deposition used to correct X-ray-optic figure errors

Active slit for differential deposition used to correct X-ray-optic figure errors

X Active slit for differential deposition used to correct X-ray-optic figure errors

Active slit for differential deposition used to correct X-ray-optic figure errors


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)

X-ray optic mandrel being polished

X-ray optic mandrel being polished

X X-ray optic mandrel being polished

X-ray optic mandrel being polished


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

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

PI: Stephen Bongiorno (MSFC)

Hi-C primary Extreme-UV (EUV) multilayer mirror

Hi-C primary Extreme-UV (EUV) multilayer mirror

X Hi-C primary Extreme-UV (EUV) multilayer mirror

Hi-C primary Extreme-UV (EUV) multilayer mirror


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

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Coatings

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)

Lightweight polyimide aerogel optic

Lightweight polyimide aerogel optic

X Lightweight polyimide aerogel optic

Lightweight polyimide aerogel optic


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

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

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)

Back side of adjustable X-ray mirror segment with row-column addressing, electro-static-discharge (ESD) protection circuits, and piezo cells

Back side of adjustable X-ray mirror segment with row-column addressing, electro-static-discharge protection circuits, and piezo cells

X Back side of adjustable X-ray mirror segment with row-column addressing, electro-static-discharge (ESD) protection circuits, and piezo cells

Back side of adjustable X-ray mirror segment with row-column addressing, electro-static-discharge (ESD) protection circuits, and piezo cells


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)

Six next-generation X-ray detectors on 200-mm wafer. Inset shows current, much smaller sensor

Six next-generation X-ray detectors on 200-mm wafer. Inset shows current, much smaller sensor

X Six next-generation X-ray detectors on 200-mm wafer. Inset shows current, much smaller sensor

Six next-generation X-ray detectors on 200-mm wafer. Inset shows current, much smaller sensor


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)

Commercially available Digital Micromirror Devices recoated for improved UV reflectance

Commercially available Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs) recoated for improved UV reflectance

X Commercially available Digital Micromirror Devices recoated for improved UV reflectance

Commercially available Digital Micromirror Devices (DMDs) recoated for improved UV reflectance


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

Project Title: Development of DMDs for Far-UV Applications

PI:Zoran Ninkov (RIT)

Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) board allowing dense readout of large focal

Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) board allowing dense readout of large focal

X Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) board allowing dense readout of large focal

Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) board allowing dense readout of large focal


Significance: High-density readout may enable large focal planes needed for future missions

Project Title: Advancing High-Density Readout Technology for Superconducting Sensor Arrays for Spaceflight

PI: Josef Frisch (SLAC)

Measuring hydras for Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) using micro-multiplexing

Measuring hydras for Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) using micro-multiplexing

X Measuring hydras for Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) using micro-multiplexing

Measuring hydras for Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs) using micro-multiplexing


Significance: High-multiplexing-factor readouts may enable missions such as Lynx

Project Title: Technology development for Microwave Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) multiplexing for the Lynx X-ray Observatory

PI: Douglas Bennett (NIST)

Two-stage 10K-to-4-K Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator

Two-stage 10K-to-4-K Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (CADR)

X Two-stage 10K-to-4-K Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator

Two-stage 10K-to-4-K Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (CADR)


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)

Speckle interferometer for ultra-precise measurements of non-reflective objects

Speckle interferometer for ultra-precise measurements of non-reflective objects

X Speckle interferometer for ultra-precise measurements of non-reflective objects

Speckle interferometer for ultra-precise measurements of non-reflective objects


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

Project Title: Ultra-Stable Structures

PI: Babak Saif (GSFC)

Advanced far-IR detector array

Advanced far-IR detector array

X Advanced far-IR detector array

Advanced far-IR detector array


Significance: Advanced far-IR detectors 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)

Custom 0.9-m Atomic Layer Deposition tool, developed to coat ground-based astronomical mirrors for ALD-protected silver

Custom 0.9-m Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) tool, developed to coat ground-based astronomical mirrors for ALD-protected silver

X Custom 0.9-m Atomic Layer Deposition tool, developed to coat ground-based astronomical mirrors for ALD-protected silver

Custom 0.9-m Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) tool, developed to coat ground-based astronomical mirrors for ALD-protected silver


Significance: Advanced coatings may enable future far-UV missions

Project Title: : High-Performance, Stable, and Scalable UV Aluminum Mirror Coatings Using ALD

PI: John Hennessy

Large Area Plasma Processing System (LAPPS) at NRL used for removing oxidation from aluminum optics

Large Area Plasma Processing System (LAPPS) at NRL used for removing oxidation from aluminum optics

X Large Area Plasma Processing System (LAPPS) at NRL used for removing oxidation from aluminum optics

Large Area Plasma Processing System (LAPPS) at NRL used for removing oxidation from aluminum optics


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-Ultraviolet Astronomical Instrument Applications

PI: Manuel Quijada (GSFC)

Initial Transition-Edge-Sensor  bolometer fabrication

Initial Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) bolometer fabrication

X  Initial Transition-Edge-Sensor bolometer fabrication

Initial Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) bolometer fabrication


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: Matt Bradford (JPL)

16-Pixel 1.9-2.06 THz Local Oscillator subsystem

16-Pixel 1.9-2.06 THz Local Oscillator (LO) subsystem

X 16-Pixel 1.9-2.06 THz Local Oscillator subsystem

16-Pixel 1.9-2.06 THz Local Oscillator (LO) subsystem


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)

Growth uniformity of wafer yielding six usable sites for 1k×1k-pixel Linear-mode Avalanche Photodiode   detector

Growth uniformity of wafer yielding six usable sites for 1k×1k-pixel Linear-mode Avalanche Photodiode (LmAPD) detector

X Growth uniformity of wafer yielding six usable sites for 1k×1k-pixel Linear-mode Avalanche Photodiode   detector

Growth uniformity of wafer yielding six usable sites for 1k×1k-pixel Linear-mode Avalanche Photodiode (LmAPD) detector


Significance: Ultra-low-noise detectors may enable spectroscopy of extrasolar planets

Project Title: Photon counting NIR LmAPD Arrays for Ultra-low Background Space Observatio

PI: Michael Bottom (U. of Hawaii)

1.5-m Advanced Mirror Technology Development- 2 ULE mirror in active thermal enclosure

1.5-m Advanced Mirror Technology Development- (AMTD) 2 ULE® mirror in active thermal enclosure

X 1.5-m Advanced Mirror Technology Development- 2 ULE mirror in active thermal enclosure

1.5-m Advanced Mirror Technology Development- (AMTD) 2 ULE® mirror in active thermal enclosure


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)

Protoflight CHESS echelle grating and Scanning Electron Microscope image of ruled gratin

Protoflight CHESS echelle grating and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of ruled gratin

X Protoflight CHESS echelle grating and Scanning Electron Microscope   image of ruled gratin

Protoflight CHESS echelle grating and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of ruled gratin


Significance: May enable future UV/optical spectroscopic missions; enables current UV suborbital missions

Project Title: Electron-Beam-Lithography Ruled Gratings for Future UV/Optical Missions: High Efficiency and Low Scatter in the Vacuum UV

PI: Brian Fleming (U. of Colorado)

Mock array in vibration test

Mock array in vibration test

X Mock array in vibration test

Mock array in vibration test


Significance: 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)

Mask layout for 734×348 microshutter array; small sections in sub-arrays consist of  microshutters with various keystone structures

Mask layout for 734×348 microshutter array; small sections in sub-arrays consist of microshutters with various keystone structures

X Mask layout for 734×348 microshutter array; small sections in sub-arrays consist of  microshutters with various keystone structures

Mask layout for 734×348 microshutter array; small sections in sub-arrays consist of microshutters with various keystone structures


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)

Planacon 50-mm sealed tube with sapphire input window, bialkali cathode, Atomic Layer Deposition borosilicate Multi-Channel Plates, and Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic XS anode

Planaconsealed tube with sapphire input window, bialkali cathode, Atomic Layer Deposition borosilicate Multi-Channel Plates , Ceramic XS anode

X Planacon 50-mm sealed tube with sapphire input window, bialkali cathode, Atomic Layer Deposition borosilicate Multi-Channel Plates, and Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic XS anode

Planacon 50-mm sealed tube with sapphire input window, bialkali cathode, Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) borosilicate Multi-Channel Plates (MCPs), and Low-Temperature Co-fired Ceramic (LTCC) XS anode


Significance: : 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)

Multi-Channel Plate  detector with 2×2 array of Timepix readout chips in the center

Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) detector with 2×2 array of Timepix readout chips in the center

X Multi-Channel Plate detector with 2×2 array of Timepix readout chips in the center

Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) detector with 2×2 array of Timepix readout chips in the center


Significance: Four-side-buttable low-power readout chips may enable future far-UV missions with large focal planes

Project Title: : Large-Format, High-Dynamic-Range UV detector using MCPs and Timepix4 readouts

PI: John Vallerga (UC Berkeley)

NIST-developed 8-column × 32-row TDM package of detectors with readouts

NIST-developed 8-column × 32-row TDM "snout" package of detectors with readouts

X NIST-developed 8-column × 32-row TDM package of detectors with readouts

NIST-developed 8-column × 32-row TDM "snout" package of detectors with readouts


Significance: 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)

  2D Delta-Doped Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device   detector

2D Delta-Doped Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device (EMCCD) detector

X   2D Delta-Doped Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device  detector

2D Delta-Doped Electron-Multiplying Charge-Coupled Device (EMCCD) detector


Significance: Ultra-low-noise detectors were baselined by SHIELDS, HabEx, LUVOIR, and ground facilities

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

PI: Shouleh Nikzad (JPL/Caltech)




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