We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

KIDSpec : an MKID-based medium-resolution, integral field spectrograph.

O’Brien, Kieran (2020) 'KIDSpec : an MKID-based medium-resolution, integral field spectrograph.', Journal of low temperature physics., 199 (1-2). pp. 537-546.


KIDSpec, the Kinetic Inductance Detector Spectrograph, is a concept for a highly sensitive, medium-spectral-resolution optical through near-IR spectrograph. It uses the intrinsic-energy-resolving capability of an array of optical/IR-sensitive MKIDs to distinguish multiple orders from a low-resolution grating. By acting as an ‘order resolver,’ the MKID array replaces the cross-disperser in an echelle spectrograph. This greatly simplifies the optical layout of the spectrograph and enables longer slits than are possible with cross-dispersed instruments (to improve sky subtraction). KIDSpec would have similar capabilities to ESO’s highly successful X-shooter instrument. It would provide an R = 4000–10,000 spectrum covering the optical and near-IR spectral range (0.4–1.5 µm). As well as a ‘long-slit’ mode, the IFU would provide a small ( ∼50 spaxel ) field of view for spatially resolved sources. In addition, the photon-counting operation of MKIDs and their photon-energy-resolving ability enable a read-noise-free spectrum with perfect cosmic ray removal. The spectral resolution would be sufficient to remove the bright night-sky lines without the additional pixel noise, making the instrument more sensitive than an equivalent semiconductor-based instrument. KIDSpec would enhance many existing high-profile science cases, including transient (GRB, SNe, etc.) follow-up, redshift determination of faint objects and transit spectroscopy of exoplanets. In addition, it will enable unique science cases, such as dynamical mass estimates of the compact objects in ultra-compact binaries.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF (Advance online version)
Full text:(VoR) Version of Record
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution.
Download PDF
Publisher Web site:
Publisher statement:© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date accepted:14 January 2020
Date deposited:30 January 2020
Date of first online publication:30 January 2020
Date first made open access:30 January 2020

Save or Share this output

Look up in GoogleScholar