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A Broadband Digital Spectrometer for the Deep Space Network

Virkler, Kristen and Kocz, Jonathon and Soriano, Melissa and Horiuchi, Shinji and Pineda, Jorge L. and McNichols, Tyrone (2020) A Broadband Digital Spectrometer for the Deep Space Network. Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 251 (1). Art. No. 1. ISSN 1538-4365. doi:10.3847/1538-4365/abbace.

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The Deep Space Network (DSN) enables NASA to communicate with its spacecraft in deep space. By virtue of its large antennas, the DSN can also be used as a powerful instrument for radio astronomy. Specifically, the Deep Space Station (DSS)-43, the 70 m antenna at the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex (CDSCC), has a K-band radio astronomy system covering a 10 GHz bandwidth at 17–27 GHz. This spectral range covers a number of atomic and molecular lines, produced in a rich variety of interstellar gas conditions. Lines include hydrogen radio recombination lines (RRLs), cyclopropenylidene (C₃H₂), water masers (H₂O), and ammonia (NH₃). A new high-resolution spectrometer was deployed at CDSCC in 2019 November and connected to the K-band down converter. The spectrometer has a total bandwidth of 16 GHz. Such a large total bandwidth enables, for example, the simultaneous observations of a large number of RRLs, which can be combined together to significantly improve the sensitivity of these observations. The system has two firmware modes: (1) a 65k-pt fast Fourier transform to provide 32,768 spectral channels at 30.5 kHz and (2) a 16k-pt polyphase filter bank to provide 8192 spectral channels with a 122 kHz resolution. The observation process is designed to maximize autonomy, from the principle investigator's inputs to the output data in FITS file format. We present preliminary mapping observations of hydrogen RRLs in Orion KL mapping taken using the new spectrometer.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Virkler, Kristen0000-0002-3207-5117
Kocz, Jonathon0000-0003-0249-7586
Soriano, Melissa0000-0002-5052-1862
Horiuchi, Shinji0000-0002-8395-3557
Pineda, Jorge L.0000-0001-8898-2800
McNichols, Tyrone0000-0002-5132-9661
Additional Information:© 2020. The American Astronomical Society. Received 2020 September 8; revised 2020 September 18; accepted 2020 September 21; published 2020 October 22. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). Facility: Deep Space Network - .
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Spectrometers ; Astronomical instrumentation
Issue or Number:1
Classification Code:Unified Astronomy Thesaurus concepts: Spectrometers (1554); Astronomical instrumentation (799)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201022-112712574
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Official Citation:Kristen Virkler et al 2020 ApJS 251 1
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106225
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:22 Oct 2020 19:10
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:52

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