8 October 2004 High-sensitivity 810 GHz SIS receivers at AST/RO
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Abstract
In November 2003 the heterodyne receivers WANDA (polarization diplexed 492/810 GHz) and PoleSTAR (2x2 810 GHz array) of AST/RO (Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory, located at the South Pole) were upgraded with new 810 GHz SIS (Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor) waveguide mixers from KOSMA. Profiting from device development for the HIFI (Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared) Band 2 SIS mixers of the Herschel Space Observatory, a factor of approx. 2 improvement in receiver noise temperature (from 1100 K to 550 K DSB) was achieved with WANDA. The SIS mixer devices employ low-loss NbTiN-Al tuning circuits and are fabricated using electron beam lithographic junction area definition and CMP (Chemical Mechanical Polishing) of the tuning circuit dielectric. With the South Pole being one of the best possible sites for ground-based submillimeter astronomy, the 1.7 m telescope currently makes AST/RO well suited for sensitive, large scale spectral line mapping at 810 GHz. Low atmospheric opacity (tau < 1) and, consequently, very low system noise temperatures (< 3000 K) are regularly achieved at 810 GHz, making AST/RO an extremely sensitive observatory at these frequencies. "First light" astronomical measurements made with the upgraded 810 GHz channel of WANDA towards the galactic HII region NGC 3576 in CO J=7-6 (806.65 GHz) and the neutral carbon [CI] 3P2-3P1 (809.3 GHz) lines are presented.
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Patrick Putz, Patrick Putz, Stefan Glenz, Stefan Glenz, Rafael Teipen, Rafael Teipen, Thomas Tils, Thomas Tils, Netty Honingh, Netty Honingh, Karl Jacobs, Karl Jacobs, Abigail Hedden, Abigail Hedden, Craig Kulesa, Craig Kulesa, Christopher E. Groppi, Christopher E. Groppi, Christopher K. Walker, Christopher K. Walker, } "High-sensitivity 810 GHz SIS receivers at AST/RO", Proc. SPIE 5498, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II, (8 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550894; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.550894
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