ASTEROID is an H2020 project aiming at enabling Europe to acquire the technology and knowledge necessary to manufacture 2k^2 high performance Infrared Focal Plane Arrays, define the types of products to design and define the strategy to create an industrial manufacturing line of these detectors. IFAE is partnering with companies and institutions in France and Austria to develop a low noise and low dark current detector that will be directly useful for astronomy applications in both ground telescopes (ESO) or space telescopes (ESA).
IFAE’s responsibility is in the optical and electrical characterisation of the detector. During 2021, after the commissioning of all the equipment (cryo-vacuum, optical and ESO New Generation Controller readout systems) we have received the detectors from Lynred and have performed their characterization with up to 20 thermal cycles to measure its bond stability. The tests are still ongoing but preliminary results show that the detectors are stable with time and the stress of the thermal cycles performed. Therefore, development can continue to the next phase towards the industrialization of the product.
Thanks to this project IFAE has acquired the know-how in characterizing IR sensors for Astronomy and Space and established a possible link of future collaboration with other projects where IR detectors are needed. More information can be found in asteroidh2020.eu, maintained by IFAE as communication responsible of the project.