24 September 2012 The DBBC environment for millimeter radioastronomy
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Abstract
The Digital Base Band Converter project developed in the last decade produced a general architecture and a class of boards, firmware and software, giving the possibility to build a general purpose back-end system for VLBI or single-dish observational activities. Such approach suggests the realization of a digital radio system, i.e. a receiver with conversion not realized with analogue techniques, maintaining only amplification stages in the analogue domain. This solution can be applied until a maximum around 16 GHz, the present limit for the instantaneous input band in the latest version of the DBBC project, while in the millimeter frequency range this maximum limit of 0.5-2 GHz of the previous versions allows the intermediate frequency to be processed in the digital domain. A description of the elements developed in the DBBC project is presented, with their use in different environments. The architecture is composed of a PC controlled mainframe, and of different modules that can be combined in a very flexible way in order to realize different instruments. The instrument can be expanded or retrofitted to meet increasing observational demands. Available modules include ADC converters, processing boards, physical interfaces (VSI and 10G Ethernet). Several applications have already been implemented and used in radioastronomic observations: a DDC (Direct Digital Conversion) for VLBI observations, a Polyphase Digital Filter Bank, and a Multiband Scansion Spectrometer. Other applications are currently studied for additional functionalities like a spectropolarimeter, a linear-to-circular polarization converter, a RFI-mitigation tool, and a phase-reference holographic tool-kit.
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Gino Tuccari, Gino Tuccari, Giovanni Comoretto, Giovanni Comoretto, Andrea Melis, Andrea Melis, Salvo Buttaccio, Salvo Buttaccio, } "The DBBC environment for millimeter radioastronomy", Proc. SPIE 8452, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 84522W (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926166; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.926166
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