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Proceedings Paper

High sensitivity 810 GHz SIS receivers at AST/RO
Author(s): Patrick Putz; Stefan Glenz; Rafael Teipen; Thomas Tils; Netty Honingh; Karl Jacobs; Abigail Hedden; Craig Kulesa; Christopher E. Groppi; Christopher K. Walker
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Paper 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.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 October 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5498, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II, (8 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550894
Show Author Affiliations
Patrick Putz, Univ. zu Koln (Germany)
Stefan Glenz, Univ. zu Koln (Germany)
Rafael Teipen, Univ. zu Koln (Germany)
Thomas Tils, Univ. zu Koln (Germany)
Netty Honingh, Univ. zu Koln (Germany)
Karl Jacobs, Univ. zu Koln (Germany)
Abigail Hedden, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Craig Kulesa, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Christopher E. Groppi, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)
Christopher K. Walker, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5498:
Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy II
Jonas Zmuidzinas; Wayne S. Holland; Stafford Withington, Editor(s)

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