AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 18 Solar Physics
Poster, Monday, January 5, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Grand Hall

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[18.05] Cryogenic 3-D Detectors for Solar Physics Using Position Sensitive Transition-Edge Sensors

R. A. Stern, D. Martinez-Galarce, T. Metcalf, J. Lemen (LMSAL), B. Cabrera, P. Brink, S. Leman (Stanford U.), S. Deiker, K. Irwin (NIST), D. Alexander (Rice U.)

Space and ground-based astronomy is currently undergoing a revolution in detector technology with the advent of cryogenic sensors operating in the sub-Kelvin temperature range. These detectors provide non-dispersive energy resolution at optical through gamma ray energies (e.g, E/\Delta E ~1500 at 6 keV), high time resolution (msec or better), and can be made into imaging arrays through SQUID multiplexing of individual pixels or employing macropixels with position sensing capability. The application of such ``3-D'' detector technology to solar physics will lead to significant advances in our understanding of magnetic reconnection phenomena in the Sun, including flares and microflares, X-ray jets, and active region dynamics. An Explorer-class solar mission based upon these detectors is a distinct possibility within the next 5-10 years. In this poster, we will describe some of the recent advances in cryogenic detector technology with particular applicability to solar physics, and future technical developments required to make such a mission a reality.

This work was supported in part by the Lockheed Martin Independent Research Program.

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