Volume 538, February 2012
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||09 February 2012|
The EMIR multi-band mm-wave receiver for the IRAM 30-m telescope ⋆
1 Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique, 300 rue de la Piscine, 38406 St Martin d’Hères, France ⋆⋆
2 Insitut de Planétologie et d’Astrophysique de Grenoble, BP 53, 38041 Grenoble Cédex 9, France
3 Instituto de Radioastronomía Milimétrica, Av. Divina Pastora 7, Nucleo Central, 18012 Granada, Spain ⋆⋆
Received: 14 November 2011
Accepted: 30 November 2011
Aims. The prime motivation of this project was to design and build a state-of-art mm-wave heterodyne receiver system to enhance the observing throughput of the IRAM 30-m radiotelescope. More specifically, the requirements were i) state-of-art noise performance for spectroscopic observations; ii) simultaneous dual polarization and dual-frequency observing; iii) coverage of the atmospheric transmission windows from 83 to 360 GHz; iv) compact footprint and minimal maintenance.
Methods. Key elements for low noise performance of heterodyne mixers are the superconducting Niobium junctions, operating at ≃4 K. These junctions are embedded in carefully designed coupling structures; furthermore, since atmospheric radiation is a significant contributor to the system noise budget, all mixers are either sideband separating or sideband rejecting. To achieve low noise, it is also essential to maximize the coupling of the receiver to the astronomical source, and to minimize the coupling to thermal radiation from the ground-based environment; this is achieved through mirror optics that realize a wavelength-independent coupling to the telescope. A flexible configuration of mirrors and frequency selective surfaces permits various combinations of frequency bands, as well as dual-load radiometric calibration. Low noise intermediate frequency amplifiers and bias electronics also play an important role in the system performance.
Results. The EMIR receiver in operation at the 30 m telescope offers four frequency bands: B1: 83−117 GHz, B2: 129−174 GHz, B3: 200−267 GHz, and B4: 260−360 GHz. In each band, the two orthogonal polarizations are observed simultaneously. Dual-band combinations B1/2 B1/3, and B2/4 are available. Bands 1 and 4 (also 3 as of Nov.-2011) feature sideband separation. In dual-band configuration, including sideband separation and polarization diplexing, up to eight IF channels are delivered to the spectrometers, totaling up to 64 GHz of signal bandwidth (of which 32 GHz can be transported and processed by spectrometers, status Nov.-2011). The EMIR receiver has been in continuous operation for more than two years and has allowed, through a qualitative jump in performance, observations not possible before, as shown by a few selected examples of astronomical results.
Key words: instrumentation: detectors / techniques: miscellaneous
© ESO, 2012
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