Delft Circuits Selected To Support The BICEP Project In Antarctica

Delft Circuits Selected To Support The Bicep Project In Antarctica

Delft Circuits, a manufacturer of quantum hardware, has been chosen to support the BICEP project in Antarctica, supporting NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and other project partners. Delft Circuits will offer its expertise in building cabling for cryogenic environments to the BICEP Project, which aims to upgrade the telescope’s sensitivity.

Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization (BICEP) is an experiment to measure the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) with greater precision while exploring the universe’s origins. The project has been running for several years and is now looking for ideas for a hardware upgrade to its telescope’s sensitivity as its research gets deeper.

As a result, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA’s only federally-funded research and development center in California, is pioneering a new method of scaling the number of detectors on the telescope array’s high optical frequency receivers. 

The Jet Propulsion Lab team has concluded that Delft Circuits cables will be inserted in the telescope’s cryostat as part of its new camera. Delft Circuits provide microwave transmission capacity in a flexible cable that can operate in cold temperatures.

In addition, the team will replace the telescope’s sensors with new thermal kinetic inductance detectors (TKIDs), superconductive detectors that leverage quantum mechanics. The infrastructural requirements of TKIDs and the methods used to measure them are comparable to those of a quantum system.

“I was very happy to find Delft Circuits, which was able to meet our stringent requirements for transmitting microwave frequencies, flexibility, and cryogenic performance in a single cable. This makes my work considerably easier,”

Lorenzo Minutolo of Caltech and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory affiliate. 

The Cri/oFlex multi-channel and RF cryogenic I/O cables that will be used within the BICEP Array telescope are more flexible than the alternative. It’ll allow customers to create and test several prototypes in their workflow while reusing the wires for each iteration giving tremendous benefits to consumers in terms of cost and setup time. This was not previously achievable. 

The BICEP Array telescope searches for gravitational wave fingerprints in the cosmic microwave background using transition edge sensors. TKIDs will replace these sensors, and their performance will be confirmed by comparing their results to existing maps created using previous technologies. 

After installing the TKIDs, the researchers at JPL will experiment with the telescope to assess if the frequency multiplexing provided by this new technology will allow for the necessary scaling of the telescope’s detectors to higher sensitivity. If the test is successful, it will verify TKIDs as a viable technology for future missions.

“Our product is the only cable capable of providing microwave transmission capability in a flexible cable which performs in cryogenic conditions. We are very pleased that scientists of this caliber see value in this 3-in-1 combination we’ve developed,” “Users can now accomplish what used to be weeks of setup work in only a couple of hours.

Kiefer Vermeulen, Research and Development Engineer at Delft Circuits.