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NASA Provides Electronics for European Dark Energy Study

1 min read

Jeff Brody

NASA has developed and shipped  20 sensor-chip electronics hardware units for a Europe-led mission to study dark matter and dark energy. The deliveries support the European space agency’s Euclid mission to commence in 2020, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Tuesday. 

The hardware are designed to digitize signals from the Euclid spacecraft’s Near Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer and operate at temperatures as low as negative 213 degrees Fahrenheit. The NISP instrument features light detectors than generate signals for the delivered hardware.

“Even under the best of circumstances, it is extremely challenging to design and build very sensitive and complex electronics that function reliably at very cold operating temperatures,” said Moshe Pniel, U.S. project manager for Euclid at JPL.

The mission will study dark energy’s role in the movement and distribution of distant galaxies and work to uncover mysteries behind dark matter. The Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille works with NASA and partners from 14 other countries to develop the NISP instrument.