Journal of Low Temperature Physics

, Volume 184, Issue 3–4, pp 718–723 | Cite as

Advantages of Photon Counting Detectors for Terahertz Astronomy

  • Hiroshi Matsuo
  • Hajime Ezawa


For astronomical observation at terahertz frequencies, a variety of cryogenic detector technologies are being developed to achieve background-limited observation from space, where a noise equivalent power (NEP) of less than \(10^{-18}\) W/Hz\(^{0.5}\) is often required. When each photon signal is resolved in time, the requirements on NEP are reduced and 1 ns time resolution corresponds to an NEP of approximately \(10^{-17}\) W/Hz\(^{0.5}\) at THz frequencies. Furthermore, fast photon counting detectors have a high dynamic range to observe bright terahertz sources such as stars and active galactic nuclei. Applications of photon counting detector are discussed for cosmic microwave background and photon counting terahertz interferometry.


Terahertz astronomy Background-limited observation  Photon counting detector Cosmic microwave background Photon counting interferometry 



This research is financially supported by Matsuo Foundation, ISAS/JAXA, and Grant-in-Aid for Exploratory Research of JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 15K13469.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)TokyoJapan

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