Complex Field Mapping of Large Direct Detector Focal Plane Arrays

Kristina K. Davis, Stephen J.C. Yates, Willem Jellema, Christopher Groppi, Jochem J.A. Baselmans, Kotaro Kohno, Andrey M. Baryshev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Complex field mapping is a powerful tool to characterize the optical performance of astronomical instruments, and has become the standard for characterizing heterodyne array cameras. Recently, an adaptation of the heterodyne beam mapping technique was demonstrated on a single pixel of a direct detector instrument. We present a novel measurement apparatus and data acquisition techniques to efficiently reconstruct the complex field pattern of individual pixels across a direct detector focal plane array. These techniques are scalable to high pixel counts as the technology maturation and scientific requirements push to larger arrays. For this demonstration, we used an engineering model of the low-frequency band of the APEX microwave kinetic inductance detector camera with a center frequency of ν = 350 GHz. Amplitude and phase radiation patterns were measured from all 880 pixels of the test array in two orthogonal polarizations. We also discuss an updated postprocessing pipeline using the complex field data to characterize the optical performance of the array. Using the measured complex field pattern, we extract the co- and cross-polarization patterns and Gaussian beam parameters, and propagate the beam from the measurement plane to additional planes of interest across all pixels in the test array. Complex field measurements of direct detectors allow more precise characterization of beam parameters when compared to thermal measurements, particularly for individualized fitting in postprocessing not reliant on the accuracy of the probe system alignment. These techniques enable high-precision characterization of individualized beam parameters as well as the overall optical system to very large format arrays with modest computational processing power. These results demonstrate the diagnostic power of the presented measurement and analysis techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8550802
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Complex field mapping
  • Gaussian beam analysis
  • kinetic inductance detector
  • near-to-far-field transformation
  • optical characterization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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