A device has been developed for coherent detection of the polarization of the cosmic microwave background (CMB). A two-stage amplifier has been designed that covers 75–110 GHz. The device uses the emerging 35-nm InP HEMT technology recently developed at Northrop Grumman Corporation primarily for use at higher frequencies. The amplifier has more than 18 dB gain and less than 35 K noise figure across the band.

These devices have noise less than 30 K at 100 GHz. The development started with design activities at JPL, as well as characterization of multichip modules using existing InP. Following processing, a test campaign was carried out using single-chip modules at 100 GHz. Successful development of the chips will lead to development of multichip modules, with simultaneous Q and U Stokes parameter detection.

This MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) amplifier takes advantage of performance improvements intended for higher frequencies, but in this innovation are applied at 90 GHz. The large amount of available gain ultimately leads to lower possible noise performance at 90 GHz.

This work was done by Lorene A. Samoska, Todd C. Gaier, Stephanie Xenos, Mary M. Soria, Pekka P. Kangaslahti, and Kieran A. Cleary of Caltech; and Linda Ferreira, Richard Lai and Xiaobing Mei of Northrop Grumman Corporation for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, download the Technical Support Package (free white paper) at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Electronics/Computers category. NPO-46627


This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Two-Stage, 90-GHz, Low-Noise Amplifier

(reference NPO-46627) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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This article first appeared in the May, 2010 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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