Bolometer-based detectors: SPICA 100 times better than Herschel

Categorie(s) : Innovation & Society, News, Research

Published : 1 February 2021

CEA-Leti will soon finish fabricating its record-breaking bolometric detectors for the SPICA space mission. Designed by CEA-IRFU, the detectors are 100 times more sensitive than those on the Herschel satellite launched in 2009. These new detectors simultaneously measure the total intensity of cosmic rays and the intensity of each polarization component.

Characterization of the first detectors to come out of the cleanrooms is currently underway. Tests show good absorption from 80 µm to 160 µm, the target band for this application. The European Space Agency cancelled the SPICA mission last October. However, this doesn’t mean that these exceptional components won’t be used elsewhere, such as on another space mission, to instrument high-altitude balloons, or to enhance the performance of large ground-based telescopes.


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