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Space science applications of cryogenic detectors

Space science applications of cryogenic detectors

Publication date: 05 September 2003

Authors: N. Rando, D. Lumb, M. Bavdaz, D. Martin, T. Peacock

Copyright: ESA

The improved performance of cryogenic detectors has drastically enhanced their utilisation range, allowing a number of space-based applications, with particular emphasis on astronomical observations. In this paper we provide an overview of the main applications of cryogenic detectors onboard spacecraft, together with a description of the key technologies and detection techniques used or being considered for space science missions. A summary of the cryogenic instrumentation technologies is also presented. Specific emphasis is given to space based astronomy in the soft X-ray regime, where superconducting tunnel junctions and cryogenic calorimeters offer well identified advantages. Possible instruments for future astrophysics space missions are also discussed, using XEUS (X-ray Evolving Universe Spectroscopy mission, presently proposed by ESA as a post XMM-Newton project) as a reference.

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