Balanced receivers are under development at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) for the 230/460 GHz and 345/660 GHz atmospheric windows. The mixers are tunerless, implemented in a balanced configuration, have a 4-8 GHz IF, and can be used in dual frequency observation mode. As shall be seen, the balanced arrangement provides a high level of amplitude noise immunity and allows all of the available LO power to be used. In turn, this permits complete automation of the receivers by means of synthesized LO source(s).
A disadvantage of balanced mixers is, perhaps, that the sidebands at the IF remain convolved (DSB), unlike sideband separating (2SB) receivers. The latter, however are unbalanced and do not have the noise and LO injection advantages of balanced mixers. For the CSO, balanced mixers covering the range 180-720 GHz were judged most promising to facilitate many of the astrophysical science goals in the years to come.
In parallel, a dual polarization 280-420~GHz continuous comparison (correlation) receiver is in an advanced state of development. The instrument has two beams on the sky; a reference and a signal beam. Using only cooled reflecting optics, two polarizing grids, and a quadrature hybrid coupler, the sky beams are coupled to four tunerless SIS mixers (both polarizations). The 4-12 GHz mixer IF outputs are, after amplification, correlated against each other. In principle, this technique results in flat baselines with very low RMS noise, and is especially well suited for high redshift Galaxy work.
Not only do these changes greatly enhance the spectroscopic capabilities of the CSO, they will also enable the observatory to be integrated into the Harvard-Smithsonian Submillimeter Array (SMA), as an additional telescope.