Thermal detectors, while typically less sensitive than quantum detectors, are useful when the combination of long wavelength signals and relatively high temperature operation makes quantum detectors unsuitable. Thermal detectors are also appropriate in applications requiring flat spectral response over a broad wavelength range. JPL produces thermopile detectors and linear arrays to meet space science requirements in these categories. Thermopile detectors and arrays are currently being fabricated for two space applications. The first is the Mars Climate Sounder (MCS) instrument, to fly on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, scheduled to launch in 2005. MCS is an atmospheric limb sounder utilizing nine 21-element thermopile arrays. The second application is the Earth Radiation Budget Suite (ERBS), part of the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). This instrument measures upwelling radiation from the earth in the spectral range 0.3-100 μm.© (2003) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.