Detector Development for Future X-ray Missions

We develop and test next-generation X-ray imagers for future NASA missions from Explorer to Flagship class. We have done similar development, testing, and calibration for successful NASA missions over the past three decades.

Project Leader

MIT/LL CCID-94 wafer

A wafer containing multiple MIT/LL CCID-94 CCD imaging chips. Similar devices fabricated by MIT/LL have been tested in our X-ray detector lab facility.


A CCID-93 CCD fabricate by MIT/LL. These devices are currently under testing in our X-ray detector lab facility as part of the Digital CCD research project to develop fast X-ray imagers for future missions.

Members of the Bautz group are active in developing and testing spectral imaging detectors for the next generation of X-ray astrophysics missions. The principal goal of this work is to develop detectors with the near-physics-limited performance of legacy CCDs, but with orders of magnitude faster frames rates and without significantly greater demands on instrument resources. Much of this effort is concentrated on Digital Charge Coupled Devices (DCCDs) under development by the Advanced Imager Technology Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. These devices exploit a new single-polysilicon gate structure and advanced on-chip amplifiers that allow the fast, low-noise, low-power readout required by future strategic NASA mission concepts such as Lynx and AXIS. We specialize in characterizing and understanding the X-ray response of these devices and in using that knowledge to develop and validate physical models of them. More details are available in the following papers:

Members  of the X-ray detector lab  have been instrumental in developing and testing detectors for highly successful NASA missions going back three decades, including ASCA, Chandra, HETE, Suzaku, and NICER. The group supports development of future space mission proposals for small satellites and Explorers as well as strategic missions. A list of papers describing recent testing and calibration campaigns follows:

Team Members