High-resolution wide-band fast Fourier transform spectrometers
1 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 University of Applied Sciences Bonn-Rhein-Sieg, Grantham-Allee 20, 53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany
Received: 22 January 2012
Accepted: 12 March 2012
We describe the performance of our latest generations of sensitive wide-band high-resolution digital fast Fourier transform spectrometer (FFTS). Their design, optimized for a wide range of radio astronomical applications, is presented. Developed for operation with the GREAT far infrared heterodyne spectrometer on-board SOFIA, the eXtended bandwidth FFTS (XFFTS) offers a high instantaneous bandwidth of 2.5 GHz with 88.5 kHz spectral resolution and has been in routine operation during SOFIA’s Basic Science since July 2011. We discuss the advanced field programmable gate array (FPGA) signal processing pipeline, with an optimized multi-tap polyphase filter bank algorithm that provides a nearly loss-less time-to-frequency data conversion with significantly reduced frequency scallop and fast sidelobe fall-off. Our digital spectrometers have been proven to be extremely reliable and robust, even under the harsh environmental conditions of an airborne observatory, with Allan-variance stability times of several 1000 s. An enhancement of the present 2.5 GHz XFFTS will duplicate the number of spectral channels (64k), offering spectroscopy with even better resolution during Cycle 1 observations.
Key words: instrumentation: spectrographs / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2012