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Published June 2012 | Published
Journal Article Open

Technology developments for a large-format heterodyne MMIC array at W-band


We report on the development of W-band (75–110 GHz) heterodyne receiver technology for large-format astronomical arrays. The receiver system is designed to be both mass producible, so that the designs could be scaled to thousands of receiver elements, and modular. Most of the receiver functionality is integrated into compact monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) amplifier-based multichip modules. The MMIC modules include a chain of InP MMIC low-noise amplifiers, coupled-line bandpass filters, and sub-harmonic Schottky diode mixers. The receiver signals will be routed to and from the MMIC modules on a multilayer high-frequency laminate, which includes splitters, amplifiers, and frequency triplers. A prototype MMIC module has exhibited a band-averaged noise temperature of 41 K from 82 to 100 GHz and a gain of 29 dB at 15 K, which is the state-of-the-art for heterodyne multichip modules.

Additional Information

© 2012 Cambridge University Press and the European Microwave Association. Received 1 November 2011; Revised 27 February 2012 first published online 12 April 2012. The authors would like to thank Matt Morgan for providing the mixer design that was used in the MMIC modules, Heather Owen for invaluable help with assembly, and Richard Lai and Gerry Mei of Northrop Grumman Corporation for their development of InP HEMT processes. This research was carried out in part by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This work was supported by the JPL Strategic University Partnership Program, the National Science Foundation under grant AST-0905855, and Department of Energy contract DE-AC03-76SF00515. P.V. thanks the Harriett G. Jenkins Pre-doctoral Fellowship Program for their support.

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