SPACEKIDS, a European Union FP-7 project, has recently been completed. It has focused on developing kinetic
inductance detector (KID) arrays and demonstrating their suitability for space applications at far infrared and
submillimetre wavelengths. KID arrays have been developed for both low-background (typical of astrophysical
applications) and high-background (typical of Earth-observation applications), based on performance specifications
derived from the science requirements of representative potential future missions. KID pixel and array designs have
been developed, together with readout electronics necessary to read out large numbers of pixels. Two laboratory
demonstrator systems have been built and used for comprehensive evaluation of large-format array characteristics and
performance in environments representative of both astronomy and Earth observing applications. We present an
overview of the SPACEKIDS project and a summary of its main results and conclusions.
Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KID) are now routinely used in ground-based telescopes. Large arrays, deployed in
formats up to kilopixels, exhibit state-of-the-art performance at millimeter (e.g. 120-300 GHz, NIKA and NIKA2 on the
IRAM 30-meters) and sub-millimeter (e.g. 350-850 GHz AMKID on APEX) wavelengths. In view of future utilizations
above the atmosphere, we have studied in detail the interaction of ionizing particles with LEKID (Lumped Element KID)
arrays. We have constructed a dedicated cryogenic setup that allows to reproduce the typical observing conditions of a
space-borne observatory. We will report the details and conclusions from a number of measurements. We give a brief
description of our short term project, consisting in flying LEKID on a stratospheric balloon named B-SIDE.
Keywords: cryogenics detectors, millimeter-wave, superconducting resonators.
The impacts of Cosmic Rays on the detectors are a key problem for space-based missions. We are studying the effects of such interactions on arrays of Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KID), in order to adapt this technology for use on board of satellites. Before proposing a new technology such as the Kinetic Inductance Detectors for a space-based mission, the problem of the Cosmic Rays that hit the detectors during in-flight operation has to be studied in detail. We present here several tests carried out with KID exposed to radioactive sources, which we use to reproduce the physical interactions induced by primary Cosmic Rays, and we report the results obtained adopting different solutions in terms of substrate materials and array geometries. We conclude by outlining the main guidelines to follow for fabricating KID for spacebased applications.
The New IRAM KID Array (NIKA) is a dual-band camera operating with frequency multiplexed arrays of Lumped Element Kinetic Inductance Detectors (LEKIDs) cooled to 100 mK. NIKA is designed to observe the intensity and polarisation of the sky at 1.25 and 2.14 mm from the IRAM 30 m telescope. We present the improvements on the control of systematic effects and astrophysical results made during the last observation campaigns between 2012 and 2014.