In-Flight Gain Monitoring of SPIDER’s Transition-Edge Sensor Arrays

J. P. Filippini, A. E. Gambrel, A. S. Rahlin, E. Y. Young, P. A.R. Ade, M. Amiri, S. J. Benton, A. S. Bergman, R. Bihary, J. J. Bock, J. R. Bond, J. A. Bonetti, S. A. Bryan, H. C. Chiang, C. R. Contaldi, O. Doré, A. J. Duivenvoorden, H. K. Eriksen, M. Farhang, A. A. FraisseK. Freese, M. Galloway, N. N. Gandilo, K. Ganga, R. Gualtieri, J. E. Gudmundsson, M. Halpern, J. Hartley, M. Hasselfield, G. Hilton, W. Holmes, V. V. Hristov, Z. Huang, K. D. Irwin, W. C. Jones, A. Karakci, C. L. Kuo, Z. D. Kermish, J. S.Y. Leung, S. Li, D. S.Y. Mak, P. V. Mason, K. Megerian, L. Moncelsi, T. A. Morford, J. M. Nagy, C. B. Netterfield, M. Nolta, R. O’Brient, B. Osherson, I. L. Padilla, B. Racine, C. Reintsema, J. E. Ruhl, M. C. Runyan, T. M. Ruud, J. A. Shariff, E. C. Shaw, C. Shiu, J. D. Soler, X. Song, A. Trangsrud, C. Tucker, R. S. Tucker, A. D. Turner, J. F.van der List, A. C. Weber, I. K. Wehus, S. Wen, D. V. Wiebe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments deploying large arrays of transition-edge sensors (TESs) often require a robust method to monitor gain variations with minimal loss of observing time. We propose a sensitive and non-intrusive method for monitoring variations in TES responsivity using small square waves applied to the TES bias. We construct an estimator for a TES’s small-signal power response from its electrical response that is exact in the limit of strong electrothermal feedback. We discuss the application and validation of this method using flight data from SPIDER, a balloon-borne telescope that observes the polarization of the cosmic microwave background with more than 2000 TESs. This method may prove useful for future balloon- and space-based instruments, where observing time and ground control bandwidth are limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-657
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Bolometer
  • Cosmic microwave background
  • Transition edge sensor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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