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 PCOS/COR Technology Development





Astrophysics Program Offices


Technology Gallery

2021

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PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio
Slide 1 of 32

PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio


For more information about these technologies visit our Technology Database.

PCOS and COR Strategic Technology Portfolio
slide photo
Slide 2 of 32

Thin grazing-angle X-ray mirrors ready for X-ray testing


Significance: World-class thin grazing-angle X-ray mirror technology that may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

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

PI: Zhang, William (GSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 3 of 32

Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings at PANTER X-ray beam


Significance: Highest-resolution X-ray transmission grating technology that could fly on the next X-ray Great Observatory

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

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

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 4 of 32

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


Significance: Enhances manufacturability of highest-resolution X-ray transmission grating technology that could fly on the next X-ray Great Observatory

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

PI: Randall Smith (SAO)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 5 of 32

RFSoC enclosure for balloon missions, with thermal management


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)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 6 of 32

Dewar with assembled electronics


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)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 7 of 32

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of part of a Thermal Kinetic Inductance Detector (TKID)


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)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 8 of 32

Lynx-style Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) X-ray detector array on wafer


Significance: High-resolution TES microcalorimeters may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: TES Microcalorimeters

PI: Caroline Kilbourne (GSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 9 of 32

GSFC package for Lynx-style LXM large-format arrays


Significance: MMCs offer energy resolution that may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title: MMC Arrays for X-ray Astrophysics

PI: Simon Bandler (GSFC)

slide photo
Slide 10 of 32

High-precision mandrel polishing


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 photo
slide photo
Slide 11 of 32

Mandrel with optimized gasket


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

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Fabrication – Replication Studies and Direct Polishing

PI: Stephen Bongiorno (MSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 12 of 32

Custom stress sensor


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

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Coatings

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 13 of 32

Adjustable thin X-ray mirror


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

Project Title: Adjustable X-ray Optics

PI: Paul Reid (SAO)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 14 of 32

X-ray CCD packaging with shielding


Significance: Advanced X-ray detectors may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

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 photo
slide photo
Slide 15 of 32

Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) with daughterboard


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

Project Title: Development of DMD for Far-UV Applications

PI: Zoran Ninkov (RIT)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 16 of 32

Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) brassboard readout


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)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 17 of 32

Microscopic image of indium bump field for use with Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs)


Significance: High-multiplexing-factor readouts may enable missions such as the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title: Technology Development for Microwave Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) Multiplexing for the Lynx X-Ray Observatory

PI: Douglas Bennett (NIST)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 18 of 32

Assembly fit-check of a 6-stage Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (CADR)


Significance: This advanced sub-Kelvin cooling technology may enable multiple future strategic missions

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

PI: James Tuttle (GSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 19 of 32

ULE® mirror substrate with thermal sensors


Significance: Ultra-stability and -precision (~10 pm) may enable the next IR/optical/UV Great Observatory

Project Title: Ultra-Stable Structures

PI: Babak Saif (GSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 20 of 32

Hybridized far-IR detector


Significance: Advanced far-IR detectors may enable the next far-IR Great Observatory

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

PI: Johannes Staguhn (JHU & GSFC)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 21 of 32

Measuring Lyman-UV reflectance of Al+LiF capped by AlF3 and MgF2


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 (JPL)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 22 of 32

600-mm dummy primary mirror with coated mirror coupons


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)

slide photo
slide photo
Slide 23 of 32

Ti-Au thermistor


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 photo
slide photo
Slide 24 of 32

RF amplifier detail


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
slide image
Slide 25 of 32

Readout integrated circuit chip mounted in ultra-low-background camera ULBCam


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

Project Title: Photon-Counting NIR LmAPD Arrays for Ultra-Low Background Space Observations

PI: Michael Bottom (U. of Hawaii)

slide image
slide image
Slide 26 of 32

1.2-m Al mirror prepared for cryo testing


Significance: This technology may enable required ultra-stability (~10 pm) for the next IR/Optical/UV Great Observatory

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

PI: H. Philip Stahl (MSFC)

slide image
slide image
Slide 27 of 32

CHESS echelle grating


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)

slide image
slide image
Slide 28 of 32

First LiteBIRD-style MF detectors


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)

slide image
slide image
Slide 29 of 32

Keystone array of microshutters after DRIE (Dry Reactive Ion Etching)


Significance: May enable sparse-field multi-object spectroscopy for future strategic and other missions

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

PI: Matt Greenhouse (GSFC)

slide image
slide image
Slide 30 of 32

127-mm Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) detector


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)

slide image
slide image
Slide 31 of 32

Timepix4v2 wafers


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)

slide image
slide image
Slide 32 of 32

Detector used in lab astrophysics


Significance: Supports NASA X-ray observatories by developing similar instruments in groundbased 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
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 grazing-angle X-ray mirrors ready for X-ray testing


Significance: World-class thin grazing-angle X-ray mirror technology that may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title:

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

Project Title:

PI: Zhang, William (GSFC)




slide image

Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings at PANTER X-ray beam


Significance: Highest-resolution X-ray transmission grating technology that could fly on the next X-ray Great Observatory

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

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




slide image

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


Significance: Enhances manufacturability of highest-resolution X-ray transmission grating technology that could fly on the next X-ray Great Observatory

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

PI: Randall Smith (SAO)




slide image

RFSoC enclosure for balloon missions, with thermal management


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)




slide image

Dewar with assembled electronics


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)




slide image

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image of part of a Thermal Kinetic Inductance Detector (TKID)


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)




slide image

Lynx-style Transition-Edge-Sensor (TES) X-ray detector array on wafer


Significance: High-resolution TES microcalorimeters may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Microcalorimeters: TES Microcalorimeters

PI: Caroline Kilbourne (GSFC)




slide image

GSFC package for Lynx-style LXM large-format arrays


Significance: MMCs offer energy resolution that may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title: MMC Arrays for X-ray Astrophysics

PI: Simon Bandler (GSFC)




slide image

High-precision mandrel polishing


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

Mandrel with optimized gasket


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

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Fabrication – Replication Studies and Direct Polishing

PI: Stephen Bongiorno (MSFC)




slide image

Custom stress sensor


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

Project Title: Advanced X-ray Optics: Mirror Coatings

PI: David Broadway (MSFC)




slide image

Adjustable thin X-ray mirror


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

Project Title: Adjustable X-ray Optics

PI: Paul Reid (SAO)




slide image

X-ray CCD packaging with shielding


Significance: Advanced X-ray detectors may enable the next X-ray Great Observatory

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

Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) with daughterboard


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

Project Title: Development of DMD for Far-UV Applications

PI: Zoran Ninkov (RIT)




slide image

Radio Frequency System-on-Chip (RFSoC) brassboard readout


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)




slide image

Microscopic image of indium bump field for use with Transition-Edge Sensors (TESs)


Significance: High-multiplexing-factor readouts may enable missions such as the next X-ray Great Observatory

Project Title: Technology Development for Microwave Superconducting QUantum Interference Device (SQUID) Multiplexing for the Lynx X-Ray Observatory

PI: Douglas Bennett (NIST)




slide image

Assembly fit-check of a 6-stage Continuous Adiabatic Demagnetization Refrigerator (CADR)


Significance: This advanced sub-Kelvin cooling technology may enable multiple future strategic missions

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

PI: James Tuttle (GSFC)




slide image

ULE® mirror substrate with thermal sensors


Significance: Ultra-stability and -precision (~10 pm) may enable the next IR/optical/UV Great Observatory

Project Title: Ultra-Stable Structures

PI: Babak Saif (GSFC)




slide image

Hybridized far-IR detector


Significance: Advanced far-IR detectors may enable the next far-IR Great Observatory

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

PI: Johannes Staguhn (JHU & GSFC)




slide image

Measuring Lyman-UV reflectance of Al+LiF capped by AlF3 and MgF2


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 (JPL)




slide image

600-mm dummy primary mirror with coated mirror coupons


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)




slide image

Ti-Au thermistor


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

RF amplifier detail


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

Readout integrated circuit chip mounted in ultra-low-background camera ULBCam


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

Project Title: Photon-Counting NIR LmAPD Arrays for Ultra-Low Background Space Observations

PI: Michael Bottom (U. of Hawaii)




slide image

1.2-m Al mirror prepared for cryo testing


Significance: This technology may enable required ultra-stability (~10 pm) for the next IR/Optical/UV Great Observatory

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

PI: H. Philip Stahl (MSFC)




slide image

CHESS echelle grating


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)




slide image

First LiteBIRD-style MF detectors


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)




slide image

Keystone array of microshutters after DRIE (Dry Reactive Ion Etching)


Significance: May enable sparse-field multi-object spectroscopy for future strategic and other missions

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

PI: Matt Greenhouse (GSFC)




slide image

127-mm Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) Multi-Channel Plate (MCP) detector


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)




slide image

Timepix4v2 wafers


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)




slide image

Detector used in lab astrophysics


Significance: Supports NASA X-ray observatories by developing similar instruments in groundbased 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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