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A Low-Noise X-Band Radiometer Using Maser

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4 Author(s)
Cook, J.J. ; Willow Run Labs., University of Mich., Ann Arbor ; Cross, L.G. ; Bair, M.E. ; Terhune, R.W.

A low-noise X-band radiometer, using a ruby maser preamplifier in radio astronomy measurements, is discussed. The radiometer uses a reflection-cavity maser with voltage-gain bndwidth products as high as 300 Mc at 4.2°K. Less than 1 per cent short-term gain instability and dependable performance are obtained. A system noise factor (excluding antenna spillover) of 0.6 db 43°K) has been obtained. The system bandwidth is limited to 8 Mc by the intermediate frequency bandwidth, with maser bandwidths of 20-30 Mc available. RMS noise fluctuations of approximately 0.01°K with a 12-second integration time and 0.007°K with a 42-second integration time are obtained. Gain instability of 0.6 per cent up to 10 minutes and 2 per cent up to 30 minutes has been measured. Electrical and mechanical features as well as measurement and operational techniques are described. Performance data and radio astronomy observations are discussed.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 4 )