The next generation of cosmic microwave background (CMB) experiments, such as CMB-S4, will require large arrays of multi-chroic, polarisation-sensitive pixels. Arrays of lumped-element kinetic inductance detectors (LEKIDs) optically coupled through an antenna and transmission line structure are a promising candidate for such experiments. Through initial investigations of small prototype arrays, we have shown this compact device architecture can produce intrinsic quality factors < 10^5, allowing for MUX ratios to exceed 10^3. Moreover, we have demonstrated that additional noise from two-level systems can be reduced to an acceptable level by removing the dielectric from over the capacitive region of the KID, while retaining the microstrip coupling into the inductor. To maximise the efficiency of future focal planes, it is desirable to observe multiple frequencies simultaneously within each pixel. Therefore, we utilise the proven transmission line coupling scheme to introduce band-defining structures to our pixel architecture. Initially targeting the peak of the CMB at 150-GHz, we present a preliminary study of these narrow-band filters in terms of their spectral bandwidth and out of band rejection. By incorporating simple in-line filters we consider the overall impact of adding such structures to our pixel by investigating detector performance in terms of noise and quality factor. Based on these initial results, we present preliminary designs of an optimised mm-wave diplexer that is used to split-up the 150 GHz atmospheric window into multiple sub-bands, before reaching the absorbing length of the LEKID. We present measurements from a set of prototype filter-coupled detectors as the first demonstration towards construction of large-format, multi-chroic, antenna-coupled LEKIDs with the sensitivity required for future CMB experiments.
The Mexico-UK Sub-millimetre Camera for AsTronomy (MUSCAT) is a large-format, millimetre-wave camera consisting of 1,500 background-limited lumped-element kinetic inductance detectors (LEKIDs) scheduled for deployment on the Large Millimeter Telescope (Volcán Sierra Negra, Mexico) in 2018. MUSCAT is designed for observing at 1.1 mm and will utilise the full 40 field of view of the LMTs upgraded 50-m primary mirror. In its primary role, MUSCAT is designed for high-resolution follow-up surveys of both galactic and extra-galactic sub-mm sources identified by <i>Herschel</i>. MUSCAT is also designed to be a technology demonstrator will provide the first on-sky demonstrations of novel design concepts such as horn-coupled LEKID arrays and closed continuous cycle miniature dilution refrigeration.<p> </p> Here we describe some of the key design elements of the MUSCAT instrument such as the novel use of continuous sorption refrigerators and a miniature dilutor for continuous 100-mK cooling of the focal plane, broadband optical coupling to Aluminium LEKID arrays using waveguide chokes and anti-reflection coating materials as well as with the general mechanical and optical design of MUSCAT. We will explain how MUSCAT is designed to be simple to upgrade and the possibilities for changing the focal plane unit that allows MUSCAT to act as a demonstrator for other novel technologies such as multi-chroic polarisation sensitive pixels and on-chip spectrometry in the future. Finally, we will report on the current status of MUSCAT's commissioning.
In this paper I will describe work done as part of an EU-funded project ‘Far-infrared space interferometer critical assessment’ (FISICA). The aim of the project is to investigate science objectives and technology development required for the next generation THz space interferometer. The THz/FIR is precisely the spectral region where most of the energy from stars, exo-planetary systems and galaxy clusters deep in space is emitted. The atmosphere is almost completely opaque in the wave-band of interest so any observation that requires high quality data must be performed with a space-born instrument. A space-borne far infrared interferometer will be able to answer a variety of crucial astrophysical questions such as how do planets and stars form, what is the energy engine of most galaxies and how common are the molecule building blocks of life. The FISICA team have proposed a novel instrument based on a double Fourier interferometer that is designed to resolve the light from an extended scene, spectrally and spatially. A laboratory prototype spectral-spatial interferometer has been constructed to demonstrate the feasibility of the double-Fourier technique at far infrared wavelengths (0.15 - 1 THz). This demonstrator is being used to investigate and validate important design features and data-processing methods for future instruments. Using electromagnetic modelling techniques several issues related to its operation at long baselines and wavelengths, such as diffraction, have been investigated. These are critical to the design of the concept instrument and the laboratory testbed.