First Operation of TES Microcalorimeters in Space with the Micro-X Sounding Rocket

J. S. Adams, R. Baker, S. R. Bandler, N. Bastidon*, M. E. Danowski, W. B. Doriese, M. E. Eckart, E. Figueroa-Feliciano, D. C. Goldfinger, S. N.T. Heine, G. C. Hilton, A. J.F. Hubbard, R. L. Kelley, C. A. Kilbourne, R. E. Manzagol-Harwood, D. McCammon, T. Okajima, F. S. Porter, C. D. Reintsema, P. SerlemitsosS. J. Smith, J. N. Ullom, P. Wikus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Micro-X is a sounding rocket-borne instrument that uses a microcalorimeter array to perform high-resolution X-ray spectroscopy. This instrument flew for the first time on July 22nd, 2018, from the White Sands Missile Range, USA. This flight marks the first successful operation of a transition-edge sensor array and its time-division multiplexing readout system in space. This launch was dedicated to the observation of the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A. A failure in the attitude control system prevented the rocket from pointing and led to no time on target. The onboard calibration source provided X-rays in flight, and it is used to compare detector performance during preflight integration, flight, and after the successful post-flight recovery. This calibration data demonstrate the capabilities of the detector in a space environment as well as its potential for future flights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1071
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 1 2020


  • Energy resolution
  • SQUID multiplexing
  • Sounding rocket
  • Spectrum
  • TES
  • X-ray

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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