The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is a NASA study for a large satellite mission to be submitted to the 2020 Decadal Review. The proposed satellite has a fleet of instruments including the HEterodyne Receivers for OST (HERO). HERO is designed around the quest to follow the trail of water from the ISM to disks around protostars and planets. HERO will perform high-spectral resolution measurements with 2x9 pixel focal plane arrays at any frequency between 468GHz to 2,700GHz (617 to 111 μm). HERO builds on the successful Herschel/HIFI heritage, as well as recent technological innovations, allowing it to surpass any prior heterodyne instrument in terms of sensitivity and spectral coverage.
APEX, the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment, is being operated successfully, now for five years, on Llano de Chajnantor
at 5107m altitude in the Chilean High Andes. This location is considered one of the worlds outstanding
sites for submillimeter astronomy, which the results described in this contribution are underlining. The primary
reflector with 12 m diameter is cautiously being maintained at about 15 μm by means of holography. This
allows to access all atmospheric submillimeter windows accessible from the ground, up to 200 μm. Telescope and
instrument performance, operational experiences and a selection of scientific results are given in this publication.
APEX, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment, is collaboration between Max Planck Institut fur Radioastronomie (MPIfR) with Astronomisches Institut Ruhr Universitat Bochum, Onsala Space Observatory and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). The telescope was supplied by VERTEX Antennentechnik in Duisburg, Germany, and is a 12 m antenna with 15 μm rms surface accuracy operating at the Atacama Desert Llano Chajnantor, in the Chilean Andes at 5100 m altitude. APEX heterodyne single pixel facility receiver are placed in the telescope Nasmyth cabin A. The receivers are coupled to the antenna via relay optics providing possibility to operate either one of the two different PI-type instruments or a multi-channel facility heterodyne receiver to cover 211 - 1500 GHz frequency range. In this report, we present the optical design for APEX single-pixel facility heterodyne receiver providing frequency independent illumination of the secondary for all the receiver channels. We present design of the two-channel facility receiver APEX A, installed and operating since June 2005, and of the coming 6-channel APEX facility receiver. The report includes a brief review of the mixer technology development status for APEX Band 1, 211 - 270 GHz, using sideband separation technology (2SB), Band 2, 270 - 370 GHz, 2SB, Band 3, 385 - 500 GHz, 2SB, and Band T2, 1250 - 1390 GHz, HEB waveguide balanced mixer, those on the development at Onsala Space Observatory. We present description of the receiver control system and example observation of APEX 2a receiver.
The Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) is a 12 m antenna now operating at the Llano Chajnantor on the Atacama
Desert in Northern Chile at 5100 m altitude. APEX will be equipped with single-pixel heterodyne receivers covering
211 - 1500 GHz frequency range. We present a sideband separation (2SB) mixer using superconducting-insulator-superconductor
(SIS) junction for the APEX band 2, 275-370 GHz. The 2SB mixer is based on a previous development
of a double sideband (DSB) mixer, which is currently installed at the APEX telescope. This DSB receiver has a noise
temperature of about 40-50 K across the band, and, as installed on one of the best site on the Earth, yields total DSB
system noise temperatures of about 100 K for excellent weather.
The 2SB mixer layout uses a modular approach with two identical DSB mixers, independently tested, having similar
characteristics, and combined with an intermediate waveguide block, containing a 3 dB-90° branch-line coupler for the
RF signal and a 3 dB-180° divider for the LO signal. The LO signals are injected into the mixer using a novel
waveguide directional coupler based on 2 quartz chips containing E- probes, allowing to couple -15 dB of the LO to the
RF path. At the conference, we will present the first measurements of this 2SB mixer, together with the current
performance the DSB receiver at the APEX telescope.
APEX, the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment, has been successfully commissioned and is in operation now. This novel submillimeter telescope is located at 5107 m altitude on Llano de Chajnantor in the Chilean High Andes, on what is considered one of the world's outstanding sites for submillimeter astronomy. The primary reflector with 12 m diameter has been carefully adjusted by means of holography. Its surface smoothness of 17-18 μm makes APEX suitable for observations up to 200 μm, through all atmospheric submm windows accessible from the ground.
Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX) submillimeter telescope is currently under completion on Chajnator, at an altitude of 5050 m on the Atacama Desert, in the Northern Chile. The telescope facility heterodyne receivers should have 3 bands covering 211-500 GHz. We present design of a 275-370 GHz SIS mixer to be used as a first light APEX Band 2 receiver. A novel waveguide-to-microstrip transition with integrated bias-T is used in this mixer. This structure allows coupling of the RF signal from a full height waveguide to a thin-film superconducting line via E-probe. The wide side of the probe is connected to another port via a specially shaped high impedance line that provides RF/DC isolation. This port is used to extract the IF signal and to inject a DC current that creates a local magnetic field parallel to the plane of the SIS junction to suppress the Josephson effect. The main advantage of this type of Josephson suppression circuit is its compactness as it uses the existing superconducting lines from the SIS integrated tuning circuitry. The entire structure with the probe, SIS junction with its tuning circuitry is placed on a quartz substrate. For more advanced designs, as a sideband separating or balanced mixer that we intend to have for the final version of the APEX telescope heterodyne receiver, the SIS junctions of two balanced or quadrature mixers will be at a very close distance. The standard solution of using superconducting coils to suppress Josephson effect is very difficult to implement and, therefore, this new structure should be of a great advantage.
We present results of the development and measurements of a heterodyne sideband separating SIS mixer for 85-115 GHz band. The sideband separation is achieved by using a quadrature scheme where a local oscillator (LO) pumps two identical mixer junctions with 90° phase difference. A key component in the mixer is a waveguide to microstrip double probe transition used as a power divider to split the input RF signal and to provide transition from waveguide to microstrip line. The double probe transition enables the integration of all mixer components on a single compact substrate. The design also involves coupled lines directional couplers to introduce the LO power to the mixer junctions. An additional pair of SIS junctions is used to provide termination loads for the idle ports of the couplers. Several mixer chips were tested and similar and consistent performance was obtained. The best single sideband noise temperature is below 40 K with IF bandwidth 3.4-4.6 GHz. The sideband suppression ratio is better than 12 dB for both sidebands across the entire RF band. The mixer was also successfully tested with 4-8 GHz IF band. In this paper we present complete mixer characterization data.