HFI design, qualification, and performance

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Contents of this chapter

Dilution cooler4K J-T cooler
Cold optics
Horns,lensesSpectral response
Detection chain
BolometersFocal plane layoutReadoutPrinciples of the readout electronicsJFETsTime responseData compression
Performance summary
here remind worse sytematics and point to DPC. Summary of sucess and limitations. JML. Link to early HFI in flight perf.(Lamarre)


This section is intended to provide an overview of the instrument and of its different sub-systems. Two papers that include and detail this information are available: LAMARRE, Jean-Michel, PUGET, Jean-Loup et 93 co-auteurs, " Planck pre-launch status: The HFI instrument, from specification to actual performance", Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 520, id.A9 (20 pages, A&A Homepage), 09/2010. and Planck-HFI Core Team and 165 co-authors. " Planck early results. IV. First assessment of the High Frequency Instrument in-flight performance", Astronomy & Astrophysics, Volume 536, id.A4 (A&A Homepage) 12/2011." Additional detailed information potentially useful for the use of the HFI data is included into this section or annexed to it.

HFI high level description and architecture

The HFI instrument is designed around 52 bolometers. Twenty of the bolometers (spider-web bolometers or SWBs) are sensitive to total power, and the remaining 32 units are arranged in pairs of orthogonally-oriented polarisation-sensitive bolometers (PSBs). All bolometers are operated at a temperature of ~0.1 K by mean of a space qualified dilution cooler coupled with a high precision temperature control system. A 4He-JT provides an active cooling for 4 K stages using vibration controlled mechanical compressors to prevent excessive warming of the 100 mK stage and minimize microphonic effects in the bolometers. Bolometers and sensitive thermometers are read using AC-bias scheme through JFET amplifiers operated at ~130 K that provide high sensitivity and low frequency stability. The HFI covers six bands centred at 100, 143, 217, 353, 545 and 857 GHz, thanks to a thermo-optical design consisting of three corrugated horns and a set of compact reflective filters and lenses at cryogenic temperatures.

The whole satellite is organized to provide thermal transitions between its warm part exposed to the sun and earth radiation, and the focal plane instruments that include the cold receivers (Sections XXX1 and XXX2). The various parts of the HFI are distributed among three different stages of the satellite in order to provide each sub-system an optimal operating temperature. The "warm" parts, including nearly all the electronics and the sources of fluids of the 4 K and 0.1 K coolers, are attached and thermally linked to the service module of the satellite. The first stage of the preamplifiers is attached to the back of the passively cooled telescope structure. The focal plane unit is attached to the 20 K stage cooled by the sorption cooler. This is detailed in (XXX2).

FIGURE The HFI focal plane optics and 4K thermo-mechanical stage
FIGURE signal formation

The telescope and horns select the geometrical origin of photons. They provide a high transmission efficiency to photons inside the main beam, while photons coming from the intermediate and far-side lobes have very low probability of being detected. This essential characteristics is known by a complex process mixing ground measurements of components (horns, reflectors), modelling the shape of the far side lobes, and measuring in-flight bright sources, especially planets.

The filters and bolometers define the spectral responses and absolute optical efficiency, that are known mostly from ground based measurements performed at component, sub-system and system levels reported in this document. The relations between spectral response and geometrical response are also addressed.

Photons absorbed by a bolometer include the thermal radiation emitted by the various optical devices: telescope, horns and filters. They are transformed in heat that propagates to the bolometer thermometer and influence its temperature which is itself measured by the readout electronics. Temperatures of all these items must be stable enough not to contaminate the scientific signal delivered by the bolometers. How this stability is reached is described in section 2.4.1_cryogeny.

The bolometer temperature depends also on the temperature of the bolometer plate, on the intensity of the biasing current and on any spurious inputs, such as cosmic rays and mechanical vibrations. Such systematics are included in the list of section 2.4.1._systematics.

Since the bolometer thermometer is part of an active circuitry that also heats it, the response of this system is complex and has to be considered as a whole. In addition, due to the modulation of the bias current and to the sampling of the data, a complex time response modifies the beam shape resulting from the scanning of point sources. Section 2.4.1._time response is dedicated to the description of this time response.

Figure signal formation: Logic of the formation of the signal in HFI. This is an idealized description of the physics that takes place in the instrument. The optical power that is absorbed by the bolometers comes from the observed sky and from the instrument itself. The bolometers and readout electronics, acting as a single and complex chain, transform this optical power in data that is compressed and transmitted for science data reduction.

Data Processing Center

(Planck) High Frequency Instrument

Junction Field Elect Transistor