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Proceedings Paper

A 1.5 THz hot electron bolometer receiver for ground-based terahertz astronomy in northern Chile
Author(s): C.-Y. Edward Tong; Jonathan Kawamura; Daniel Marrone; Denis Loudkov; Scott Paine; Raymond Blundell; Claudio Barrientos; Daniel Lühr
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Paper Abstract

A 1.5 THz superconducting receiver has been in operation at the Receiver Lab Telescope of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Northern Chile since December 2004. This receiver incorporates a Hot Electron Bolometer (HEB) mixer chip made from a thin film of Niobium Titanium Nitride (NbTiN), which is mounted in a precisionmachined waveguide mixer block attached to a corrugated waveguide horn assembly. With a noise temperature of around 1500 K, this receiver is sensitive enough for use in the pioneering field of ground-based terahertz spectral-line astronomy. A number of innovative techniques have been employed in the construction and deployment of this receiver. These include near-field vector beam mapping to enable accurate coupling to the telescope optics, the use of tunerless planar-diode based local oscillator unit capable of generating a few μW at 1.5 THz, and special calibration techniques required for terahertz astronomy. In this paper, we will report on the design, set-up and operation of this state-of-the-art instrument.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 October 2006
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6373, Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems, 63730U (18 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.686058
Show Author Affiliations
C.-Y. Edward Tong, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Jonathan Kawamura, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Daniel Marrone, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Denis Loudkov, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Scott Paine, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Raymond Blundell, Harvard-Smithsonian Ctr. for Astrophysics (United States)
Claudio Barrientos, Univ. de Chile (Chile)
Daniel Lühr, Univ. de Chile (Chile)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6373:
Terahertz Physics, Devices, and Systems
Mehdi Anwar; Anthony J. DeMaria; Michael S. Shur, Editor(s)

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