Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

The wideband backend for host country radio astronomy in the Spanish DSN Robledo complex
Author(s): J. R. Rizzo; A. Pedreira; C. García Miró; I. Sotuela; T. B. H. Kuiper; J. Cernicharo; J. M. Castro Cerón; J. R. Larrañaga; L. Ojalvo
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00

Paper Abstract

The NASA Deep Space Network hosts three complexes worldwide for spacecrafts tracking. The Spanish complex, the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex (MDSCC), operates a set of highly sensitive antennas, which are used for Host Country Radio Astronomy (HCRA) during a percentage of their operational time. We have designed, developed and built a wideband backend for HCRA in MDSCC, which greatly improves its available facilities, and opens new scientic cases to be tackled. The backend is able to sample up to 6 GHz of instantaneous bandwidth, in the frequency range from 18 to 50 GHz, using two dierent antennas. An intermediate-frequency (IF) processor downconverts the two-polarization signals to four base-band channels of 1.5 GHz width. Digitalisation is done through a set of FPGA-based FFT spectrometers, which can provide spectral resolutions from 7 to 200 kHz, and spectral coverages from 100MHz to 1.5 GHz each. This new facility enables HCRA to aord new scientic projects, such as extragalactic radio astronomy and spectral surveys; at the same time, the available time for HC is greatly optimized. It was necessary the development of dedicated software for spectra acquisition and control of the equipment, and also the upgrading of the existing observing programs. Once end-to-end assembled, the whole backend was tested through a set of commissioning observations. In this contribution the main features of the new backend are described, including the IF processor, the FFT spectrometer and the developed software. Some astronomical results are also included.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8452, Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 84522S (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926085
Show Author Affiliations
J. R. Rizzo, Ctr. de Astrobiología (Spain)
A. Pedreira, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Spain)
C. García Miró, Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex (Spain)
I. Sotuela, Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex (Spain)
T. B. H. Kuiper, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
J. Cernicharo, Ctr. de Astrobiología (Spain)
J. M. Castro Cerón, Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex (Spain)
J. R. Larrañaga, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Spain)
L. Ojalvo, Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial (Spain)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8452:
Millimeter, Submillimeter, and Far-Infrared Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy VI
Wayne S. Holland, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top