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Dr. Omid Noroozian has been awarded a Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics from NASA

by Mary Mayo last modified Nov 14, 2017

The goals of the Nancy Grace Roman Technology Fellowship in Astrophysics program (see https://science.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/fellowship-programs/nancy-grace-roman-technology-fellowships-astrophysics-early-career-researchers) are to give early career researchers the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to lead astrophysics flight instrumentation development projects and become principal investigators (PIs) of future astrophysics missions; to develop innovative technologies that have the potential to enable major scientific breakthroughs; and to foster new talent by putting early-career instrument builders on a trajectory towards long-term positions.

Dr. Noroozian's fellowship was awarded together with a major research grant from NASA to develop three enabling technologies for next-generation Mid-Far Infrared cryogenic telescopes. One is a game-changing detector technology called “Photon-Counting Kinetic Inductance Detectors” - a mission-enabling tool for NASA's Origins Space Telescope (OST). Building these detectors is one of the most difficult technology challenges for the OST and may determine whether the observatory can be built. These detectors will see the faintest signals down to single photons -a holy grail in astrophysics - and can be used to map the composition and evolution of water and other key volatiles in planet-forming materials around young stars. The second technology is a miniaturized on-chip multi-object spectrometer that will be attached to the detectors to provide information about the spectral content of light detected from highly redshifted galaxies, and will aid in understanding of the evolution of galaxies and growth of structure in the universe. The third technology is quantum-noise-limited parametric amplifiers, which can amplify electromagnetic signals at the highest fidelity allowed by the uncertainty principle. Realization of the above technologies will enable a wide spectrum of science investigations for future space telescopes. Dr. Noroozian was also recently funded by the NRAO to develop parametric amplifiers to increase the sensitivity and observing speed of the ALMA telescope.