Tilted beam measurement of VLBI receiver for the South Pole Telescope

Junhan Kim, Daniel P. Marrone

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We have developed a 230 and 345 GHz very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI) receiver for the South Pole Telescope (SPT). With the receiver installed, the SPT has joined the global Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) array. The receiver optics select the 230 or 345 GHz mixers by rotating the tertiary mirror around the optical axis, directing the chief ray from the secondary mirror to the feed horn of the selected frequency band. The tertiary is installed on top of the receiver cryostat, which contains both mixer assemblies. The feed horns are placed symmetrically across the centerline of the telescope optics and tilted inward by 5.7 degrees from the vertical plane so that their beams intersect at the chief ray intersection on the tertiary mirror. We have performed vector beam measurements of the SPT VLBI receiver in both frequency bands. The measurements preserved the relative location of the beams, to establish the relative locations of the phase centers of the two horns. Measurements in two parallel reference planes above the cryostat were used to suppress reflected light. To model the beam, we derive a general expression of the electric field vector on the measurement plane for a tilted beam and infer the feed horn position parameters for both frequency bands by fitting models to data with a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method. The inferred parameters such as the tilt angle of the feed horn are in good agreement with the design. We present the measurement setup, amplitude and phase pattern of the beam, and the fitting result here.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2018
Event29th IEEE International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, ISSTT 2018 - Pasadena, United States
Duration: Mar 26 2018Mar 28 2018


Conference29th IEEE International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology, ISSTT 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiation


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