10- to 19.5-GHz microwave receiver of an electro-optical interferometer for radio astronomy

Aja, Beatriz; de la Fuente, Luisa; Artal, Eduardo; Villa, Enrique; Cano, Juan L.; Mediavilla, Angel
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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems

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This document describes the analysis, design, and prototype test results of the microwave section of a 10- to 19.5-GHz interferometer, aimed at obtaining polarization data of cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation from the sky. First, receiver analysis is thoroughly assessed to study the contribution of each subsystem when obtaining the Stokes parameters of an input signal. Then, the receiver design is detailed starting from the front-end module, which works at cryogenic temperature, composed of a set of passive components: feedhorn, orthomode transducer, and polarizer, together with active components, such as very low-noise amplifiers. The back-end module (BEM) is directly connected, working at room temperature for further amplification, phase switching, and correlation of the signals. Moreover, the whole frequency band is split into two sub-bands (10 to 14 GHz and 16 to 20 GHz) using a high selective diplexer in the BEM in order to reject radiofrequency interferences. Phase switches allow phase difference steps of 5.625 deg, which modulate the correlated outputs to reduce systematic effects in the postdetection signal processing. Finally, measurements of all the subsystems comprising the microwave section of the receiver as well as the characterization of the complete microwave receiver are presented. The obtained results demonstrate successful performance of the microwave receiver that, together with an electro-optical correlator and a near-infrared camera, comprises the interferometer. Moreover, synthesized images corresponding to combinations of the Stokes parameters can be obtained with the whole system.