GUSTO will be a NASA balloon borne terahertz observatory to be launched from Antarctica in late 2021 for a flight duration of 100-170 days. It aims at reviewing the life cycle of interstellar medium of our galaxy by simultaneously mapping the three brightest interstellar cooling lines: [OI] at 4.7 THz, [CII] at 1.9 THz, and [NII] at 1.4 THz; along the 124 degrees of the galactic plane and through a part of the Large Magellanic Cloud. It will use three arrays of 4x2 mixers based on NbN hot electron bolometers (HEBs), which are currently the most sensitive mixers for high resolution spectroscopic astronomy at these frequencies. <p> </p>
Here we report on the design of a novel 4.7 THz receiver for GUSTO. The receiver consists mainly of two subsystems: a 4×2 HEB quasi-optical mixer array and a 4.7 THz multi-beam LO. We describe the mixer array, which is designed as a compact monolithic unit. We show, for example, 10 potential HEB detectors with the state of the art sensitivity of 720 K measured at 2.5 THz. They have a small variation in sensitivity, being less than 3%, while also meet the LO uniformity requirements. For the multi-beam LO we demonstrate the combination of a phase grating and a single QCL at 4.7 THz, which generates 8 sub-LO beams, where the phase grating shows an efficiency of 75%. A preliminary concept for the integrated LO unit, including QCL, phase grating and beam matching optics is presented.