Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


First Advisor

Wilson, Grant W.

Second Advisor

Schloerb, F. Peter

Third Advisor

Yun, Min S.

Subject Categories

Astrophysics and Astronomy | Instrumentation


Bolometers are the most sensitive detectors for measuring millimeter and submillimeter wavelength astrophysical signals. Cameras comprised of arrays of bolometers have already made significant contributions to the field of astronomy. A challenge for bolometer cameras is obtaining observations at multiple wavelengths. Traditionally, observing in multiple bands requires a partial disassembly of the instrument to replace bandpass filters, a task which prevents immediate spectral interrogation of a source. More complex cameras have been constructed to observe in several bands using beam splitters and dichroic filters, but the added complexity leads to physically larger instruments with reduced efficiencies. The SPEctral Energy Distribution camera (SPEED) is a new type of bolometer camera designed to efficiently observe in multiple wavebands without the need for excess bandpass filters and beam splitters. SPEED is a ground-based millimeter-wave bolometer camera designed to observe at 2.1, 1.3, 1.1, and 0.85 mm simultaneously. SPEED makes use of a new type of bolometer, the frequency selective bolometer (FSB), to observe all of the wavebands within each of the camera's four pixels. FSBs incorporate frequency selective dipole surfaces as absorbing elements allowing each detector to absorb a single, narrow band of radiation and pass all other radiation with low loss. Each FSB also contains a superconducting transition-edge sensor (TES) that acts as a sensitive thermistor for measuring the temperature of the FSB. This thesis describes the development of the SPEED camera and FSB detectors. The design of the detectors used in the instrument is described as well as the the general optical performance of frequency selective dipole surfaces. Laboratory results of both the optical and thermal properties of millimeter-wave FSBs are also presented. The SPEED instrument and its components are highlighted and the optical design of the optics which couple SPEED to the Heinrich Hertz Telescope is given. This thesis concludes with an introduction to the jiggle mapping data analysis of bolometer instruments like SPEED.