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Dr Tom Brien

Dr Tom Brien

Research Associate
Astronomy Instrumentation Research Group

School of Physics and Astronomy

Email
tom.brien@astro.cf.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)29 2087 6269
Campuses
N/-1.06, Queen's Buildings - North Building, 5 The Parade, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 3AA

Overview

My research is based on developing the next generation of astronomical instrumentation for use in the sub-millimetre and far infrared regimes. I concentrate on the development of hyper-sensitive, high-pixel count detector arrays using the LEKID architecture and also the design and commissioning of the sub-Kelvin cryogenic cooling platforms that are required for these detectors.

I am the cryogenic development lead for the MUSCAT instrument on the Large Millimeter Telescope in Mexico. The bespoke cooling system of MUSCAT, developed in close partnership with commercial partners, utilises novel continuously operating helium sorption fridges combined with a miniature dilution fridge to provide a detector-stage temperature of 100 mK (-273.05°C, 0.1°C above absolute zero). A unique feature of this system is that, compared to similar systems, MUSCAT uses very little helium-3 which is scarce and expensive.

The detectors I develop have applications in studying the light from other galaxies, helping to understand for stars form and study the cosmic microwave background (a remnant of the Big Bang).

Biography

2006-2010 - MPhys, Physcics, Cardff University
2011-2015 - PhD, Astrophysics & Engineering, Cardiff University
2015-Present - Post Doctoral Research Associate, Astronomical Instrumentation Group, Cardiff Unviersity

Publications

2021

2020

  • Brien, T.et al. 2020. Pre-deployment verification and predicted mapping speed of MUSCAT. Presented at: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020, Virtual, 14-18 December 2020Proceedings Volume 11453, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy X, Vol. 11453. SPIE pp. 1145303., (10.1117/12.2561305)
  • Tapia, M.et al. 2020. MUSCAT focal plane verification. Presented at: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020, Virtual, 14-18 December 2020Proceedings Volume 11453, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy X;, Vol. 11453. SPIE pp. 1145309., (10.1117/12.2576219)
  • Gómez-Rivera, V.et al. 2020. Design and characterization of the MUSCAT detectors. Presented at: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2020, Virtual, 14-18 December 2020Proceedings Volume 11453, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy X, Vol. 11453. SPIE pp. 114531Q., (10.1117/12.2576334)

2019

2018

2016

2015

2014

2013