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Performance of the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory Dual-Color 180–720 GHz Balanced SIS Receivers

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15 Author(s)
Kooi, J.W. ; Submillimeter Astron. & Instrum. Group, California I.nst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Chamberlin, R.A. ; Monje, R. ; Kovacs, A.
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In this paper, we report on balanced SIS receivers covering the astronomical important 180-720 GHz submillimeter atmospheric window. To facilitate remote observations and automated spectral line surveys, fully synthesized local oscillators are employed. High-current-density Nb-AlN-Nb superconducting-insulating-superconducting (SIS) tunnel junctions are used as the mixing element. The measured double-sideband (DSB) 230 GHz receiver noise temperature, uncorrected for optics loss, ranges from 50 K at 185 GHz, 33 K at 246 GHz, to 51 K at 280 GHz. In this frequency range the mixer has a DSB conversion gain of 0 ±1.5 dB. The measured 460 GHz double-sideband receiver noise temperature, uncorrected for optics loss, is 32 K at 400 GHz, 34 K at 460 GHz, and 61 K at 520 GHz. Similar to the 230 GHz balanced mixer, the DSB mixer conversion gain is 1 ±1 dB. To help optimize performance, the mixer IF circuits and bias injection are entirely planar by design. Dual-frequency observation, by means of separating the incoming circular polarized electric field into two orthogonal components, is another important mode of operation offered by the new facility instrumentation. Instrumental stability is excellent supporting the LO noise cancellation properties of the balanced mixer configuration. In the spring of 2012 the dual-frequency 230/460 SIS receiver was successfully installed at Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO), Mauna Kea, HI, USA.

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Terahertz Science and Technology, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 2 )