The objectives of the Submillmetron Project are twofold. The primary goal is to perform an astronomical study in submillimeter and infrared wavelengths of the "cold" component of the matter in the Universe (dust in the Solar System, in the Galaxy, and in extragalactic sources, etc.), to conduct a submillimeter wave survey, to perform studies of the spectra of astronomical sources and their variability, to conduct cosmological studies (study of the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation and search for Lyman-alpha line at the epoch of recombination and secondary heating). The secondary goal is to provide a test bed to perform the technological experiments needed to develop follow-on projects.
The Submillimetron Project intends to fill the time gap between the IRAS, COBE and the follow-on projects SIRTF, FIRST, and PLANK. If it succeeds, it can provide information on research targets for these projects as well as test/resolve some technological issues needed to build these telescopes.
The uniqueness of the proposed telescope lies in the deep cooling of
the entire telescope and the even deeper cooling of the detectors to achieve
a high sensitivity in submillimeter wavelengths. Comparative sensitivity
of the flown projects (IRAS and COBE) and projects under development (SIRTF,
FIRST, PLANK) and the Sumillimetron telescope are given in figures
The telescope will be positioned on the Russian Segment of the International Space Station (Fig.3). The telescope assembly will be oriented in such a way as to preclude interference from the thermal radiation of the station elements, the Sun and the Earth. The angle between the optical axis of the telescope and the directions to these objects will be larger than 60 degrees in all possible telescope pointing positions.
The data registration and processing block will be located in one of
the scientific modules of the station and connected with the telescope
assembly by a cable.
Diameter: D=0.6 m
Focal length: F=4 m
- submillimeter band: 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.5 mm
- infrared band: 3, 10, 30, 100, 200 mkm
- telescope as a whole: 5K
- detectors: 0.1K
- bolometer arrays
Number of elements in the detector arrays:
- about 100 at wavelengths shorter than 0.5 mm
- 7 elements at the wavelength 1.5 mm
- submillimeter band: 5-20 min of arc
- infrared band: 5 min of arc
Sensitivity of the detectors:
- submillimeter band: 10-18 W/Hz1/2
- infrared band: 10E-17 - 3x10-16 W/Hz1/2
Sensitivity of the telescope (integration time = 1 s)
- submillimeter band: 3-12 mJy
- infrared band: 6-40 mJy
Cryogenic Telescope (see Fig. 4) includes following main units:- Optic Cryogenic Assembly (OCA) 300/40 *
- Load temperature = 20 K.
- Minimum heat load = 1 W.
- Power consumption = 300 W.
- Maximum mass = 30 kg.
- Power voltage = 23-34 V.
- Accuracy of the telescope pointing axe = ±
10 arc sec.
- Accuracy of the field of view orientaton = ± 1 deg
- Telescope pointing data rate = 1 point per 10 sec.
- Power consumption = 10 W.
- Maximum mass = 10 Kg.
Wavelengths: 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.5 mm.
Bandwidth: 10 - 30% of the observing frequency.
Number of elements in the bolometer arrays:
- about 100 at wavelengths 0.3 - 0.4 mm,
- 7 elements at the wavelength 1.5 mm.
Sensitivity of the bolometers: 10-18 W/Hz1/2.
The last figure corresponds to measure of fluctuations in number of
quanta in background radiation and can be achieved only with thermal detector
(bolometer). For phase sensitive receiver (heterodine mixer) in accordance
to indefinity principle the noise temperature is restricted by a value
about hv/k. The needed sensitivity can be achieved with extremely
low-temperature (about 0.1K) bolometer  using Andreev
reflection effect .
Possible Participants of the Submillimetron project are : Astro Space Center (ASC), Russia - project management, scientific program;
Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), USA - active cooling system (ACS), infrared detectors (IDA), test bed;
Chalmers University (CTH), Sweden, Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics (IREE), Russia - submillimeter bolometers;
P.L.Kapiza Institute of Physical Problems, (KIPP) , Russia - low temperature cooler (mKC);
S.P.Korolev Russian Space Corporation “Energia” (RSC), Russia - payload integration, delivery on orbit;
Space Research Institute (IKI) , Russia - pointing system (TPS).
 Andreev, A.F., 1964. JETP, 46, p.1283.