DOI: 10.3390/s23177414 ISSN:

Adaptation of an IRAM W-Band SIS Receiver to the INAF Sardinia Radio Telescope: A Feasibility Study and Preliminary Tests

Adelaide Ladu, Luca Schirru, Pierluigi Ortu, Andrea Saba, Mauro Pili, Alessandro Navarrini, Francesco Gaudiomonte, Pasqualino Marongiu, Tonino Pisanu
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Analytical Chemistry

Radio telescopes are used by astronomers to observe the naturally occurring radio waves generated by planets, interstellar molecular clouds, galaxies, and other cosmic objects. These telescopes are equipped with radio receivers that cover a portion of the radio frequency (RF) and millimetre-wave spectra. The Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) is an Italian instrument designed to operate between 300 MHz and 116 GHz. Currently, the SRT maximum observational frequency is 26.5 GHz. A feasibility study and preliminary tests were performed with the goal of equipping the SRT with a W-band (84–116 GHz) mono-feed radio receiver, whose results are presented in this paper. In particular, we describe the adaptation to the SRT of an 84–116 GHz cryogenic receiver developed by the Institute de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) for the Plateau de Bure Interferometer (PdBI) antennas. The receiver was upgraded by INAF with a new electronic control system for the remote control from the SRT control room, with a new local oscillator (LO), and with a new refrigeration system. Our feasibility study includes the design of new receiver optics. The single side band (SSB) receiver noise temperature measured in the laboratory, Trec ≈ 66 K at 86 GHz, is considered sufficiently low to carry out the characterisation of the SRT active surface and metrology system in the 3 mm band.

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