Desert STAR: A 7 pixel 345 GHz heterodyne array receiver for the Heinrich Hertz Telescope

C. E. Groppi, C. K. Walker, C. Kulesa, D. Golish, A. Hedden, P. Gensheimer, G. Narayanan, A. W. Lichtenberger, U. U. Graf, S. Heyminck

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


DesertSTAR is a 7 beam, 345 GHz heterodyne array receiver for the Heinrich Hertz Telescope (HHT) on Mt. Graham, AZ. The instrument uses fixed-backshort Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor (SIS) mixers with a broadband waveguide probe. Instantaneous bandwidths greater than 2 GHz can be achieved over the entire 345 GHz atmospheric window. A cryostat with Joule-Thompson (JT) mechanical refrigerator allows continuous operation and 1.8W of cooling capacity at 4K, and provides the needed temperature stability for low-noise operation. Local Oscillator (LO) distribution is accomplished with a novel phase grating that yields high efficiency and power uniformity in a hexagonally symmetric geometry. The computer controlled bias system is an evolution of a proven design that is simple, portable to any computer platform, and easily extensible to over 100 channels. It provides control and monitoring of bias, temperature and vacuum from any X-windows capable machine, and writes an instrument status web page visible with any web browser. The 2 GHz Intermediate Frequency (IF) bandwidth allows the future addition of a wideband backend optimized for extragalactic observations, with ∼1700 km/s of velocity coverage. We present measurements of receiver performance and plans for integration on the HHT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
EventMillimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy - Waikaloa, HI, United States
Duration: Aug 25 2002Aug 28 2002


  • SIS heterodyne array receiver submillimeter molecular spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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