An Open Source, FPGA-Based LeKID Readout for BLAST-TNG: Pre-Flight Results

Samuel Gordon, Brad Dober, Adrian Sinclair, Samuel Rowe, Sean Bryan, Philip Mauskopf, Jason Austermann, Mark Devlin, Simon Dicker, Jiansong Gao, Gene C. Hilton, Johannes Hubmayr, Glenn Jones, Jeffrey Klein, Nathan P. Lourie, Christopher McKenney, Federico Nati, Juan D. Soler, Matthew Strader, Michael Vissers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We present a highly frequency multiplexed readout for large-format superconducting detector arrays intended for use in the next generation of balloon-borne and space-based sub-millimeter and far-infrared missions. We will demonstrate this technology on the upcoming NASA Next Generation Balloon-borne Large Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope (BLAST-TNG) to measure the polarized emission of Galactic dust at wavelengths of 250, 350 and 500 microns. The BLAST-TNG receiver incorporates the first arrays of Lumped Element Kinetic Inductance Detectors (LeKID) along with the first microwave multiplexing readout electronics to fly in a space-like environment and will significantly advance the TRL for these technologies. After the flight of BLAST-TNG, we will continue to improve the performance of the detectors and readout electronics for the next generation of balloon-borne instruments and for use in a future FIR Surveyor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1641003
JournalJournal of Astronomical Instrumentation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Detector readout
  • FPGA design
  • mm and sub-mm wave astronomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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