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Proceedings Paper

A new generation of spectrometers for radio astronomy: fast Fourier transform spectrometer
Author(s): Bernd Klein; Sabine D. Philipp; Rolf Güsten; Ingo Krämer; Dorothea Samtleben
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Paper Abstract

We present a new generation of very flexible and sensitive spectrometers for radio astronomical applications: Fast Fourier Transform Spectrometer (FFTS). The rapid increase in the sampling rate of commercially available analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and the increasing power of field programmable gate array (FPGA) chips has led to the technical possibility to directly digitize the down-converted intermediate-frequency signal of coherent radio receivers and to Fourier transform the digital data stream into a power spectrum in continuous real-time with no gaps in the data. In the last years FPGAs have become very popular for building fast and reconfigurable hardware. State-of-the-art chips include several hundred dedicated 18 bit×18 bit multipliers, which allow up to 80 billion multiplication and nearly 500 billion 36-bit additions per second. This extremely high computing power makes it now possible to implement real-time FFTs to decompose a 1GHz frequency band into 16384 spectral channels. In this paper we present the technological concept and results of our novel broad-band 1GHz FFTS with 16k frequency channels, which is installed at the APEX telescope. This backend can be considered prototypical for spectrometer developments for future radio astronomical applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6275, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 627511 (27 June 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.670831
Show Author Affiliations
Bernd Klein, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Sabine D. Philipp, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Rolf Güsten, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Ingo Krämer, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)
Dorothea Samtleben, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6275:
Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors and Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Jonas Zmuidzinas; Wayne S. Holland; Stafford Withington; William D. Duncan, Editor(s)

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