SIS photon detectors are niobium-based superconducting direct detectors for submillimeter-wave that show superior performance when compared with bolometric detectors for ground-based observations. We present the design and development of the SIS photon detectors together with optical and cryogenic components for wide field continuum observation system on Atacama Submillimeter Telescope Experiment (ASTE). Using antenna coupled distributed junctions, SIS photon detectors give wide band response in a 650-GHz atmospheric window as well as high current sensitivity, shot noise limited operation, fast response and high dynamic range. Optical noise equivalent power (NEP) was measured to be 1.6x10-16 W/Hz0.5 that is less than the background photon fluctuation limit for ground based submillimeter-wave observations. Fabrication of focal plane array with 9 detector pixels is underway to install in ASTE.
Readout electronics with Si-JFETs operating at about 100 K will be used for this array. Development of readout electronics for larger array is based on GaAs-JFETs operating at 0.3 K. For the purpose of installing 100 element array of SIS photon detectors, we have developed remotely operable low-vibration cryostat, which now cools bolometers for 350, 450, 850-µm observations down to 0.34 K. GM-type 4-K cooler and He3/He4 sorption cooler is used, which can be
remotely recycled to keep detectors at 0.34 K. Since we have large optical window for this cryostat, sapphire cryogenic window is used to block infrared radiation. The sapphire window is ante-reflection coated with SiO2 by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). The transmittance of the cryogenic window at 650 GHz is more than 95%.