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MDL’s spider web bolometers will be launched in 2009

Superconducting Materials and Devices

Scientists continue development of devices that detect the cosmic microwave background and the elemental composition of distant galaxies during the formation of the universe, and at home map Earth’s radiation balance and empower our new telescopes.

MDL develops advanced cryogenic millimeter and submillimeter detectors for spectroscopy, imaging, and polarimetry measurements in astrophysics. JPL has been a pioneer in the development of superconducting detectors for far-infrared/submillimeter astrophysics for 25 years. Initially, this effort focused on superconductor-insulator-superconductor mixers for heterodyne receivers for high-resolution spectroscopy, used on ground-based telescopes around the world as well as on current and planned NASA flight missions. Recent development efforts have been focused on large-format arrays of direct detectors for spectroscopy, imaging, and polarimetry for astrophysics and application of these technologies for Earth and planetary science.


Current Projects