Impact of particles on the planck HFI detectors: Ground-based measurements and physical interpretation

A. Catalano, P. Ade, Y. Atik, A. Benoit, E. Bréele, J. J. Bock, P. Camus, M. Chabot, M. Charra, B. P. Crill, N. Coron, A. Coulais, F. X. Désert, L. Fauvet, Y. Giraud-Héraud, O. Guillaudin, W. Holmes, W. C. Jones, J. M. Lamarre, J. MacÍas-PérezM. Martinez, A. Miniussi, A. Monfardini, F. Pajot, G. Patanchon, A. Pelissier, M. Piat, J. L. Puget, C. Renault, C. Rosset, D. Santos, A. Sauvé, L. D. Spencer, R. Sudiwala

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21 Scopus citations


The Planck High Frequency Instrument (HFI) surveyed the sky continuously from August 2009 to January 2012. Its noise and sensitivity performance were excellent (from 11 to 40 aW Hz-1), but the rate of cosmic-ray impacts on the HFI detectors was unexpectedly higher than in other instruments. Furthermore, collisions of cosmic rays with the focal plane produced transient signals in the data (glitches) with a wide range of characteristics and a rate of about one glitch per second. A study of cosmic-ray impacts on the HFI detector modules has been undertaken to categorize and characterize the glitches, to correct the HFI time-ordered data, and understand the residual effects on Planck maps and data products. This paper evaluates the physical origins of glitches observed by the HFI detectors. To better understand the glitches observed by HFI in flight, several ground-based experiments were conducted with flight-spare HFI bolometer modules. The experiments were conducted between 2010 and 2013 with HFI test bolometers in different configurations using varying particles and impact energies. The bolometer modules were exposed to 23 MeV protons from the Orsay IPN Tandem accelerator, and to 241Am and 244Cm α-particle and 55Fe radioactive X-ray sources. The calibration data from the HFI ground-based preflight tests were used to further characterize the glitches and compare glitch rates with statistical expectations under laboratory conditions. Test results provide strong evidence that the dominant family of glitches observed in flight are due to cosmic-ray absorption by the silicon die substrate on which the HFI detectors reside. Glitch energy is propagated to the thermistor by ballistic phonons, while thermal diffusion also contributes. The average ratio between the energy absorbed, per glitch, in the silicon die and thatabsorbed in the bolometer is equal to 650. We discuss the implications of these results for future satellite missions, especially those in the far-infrared to submillimeter and millimeter regions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA88
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • Cosmic background radiation
  • Cosmic rays
  • Instrumentation: detectors
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Space vehicles: instruments


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