A monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) receiver can be used as a building block for next-generation radio astronomy instruments that are scalable to hundreds or thousands of pixels. W- band (75–110 GHz) low-noise receivers are needed for radio astronomy interfer- ometers and spectrometers, and can be used in missile radar and security imagers.

These receivers need to be designed to be mass-producible to increase the sensi- tivity of the instrument. This innovation is a prototyped single-sideband MMIC receiver that has all the receiver front-end functionality in one small and planar module. The planar module is easy to assemble in volume and does not require tuning of individual receivers. This makes this design low-cost in large volumes.

This work was done by Todd C. Gaier, Lorene A. Samoska, and Pekka P. Kangaslahti of Caltech; Dan Van Vinkle, Sami Tantawi, John Fox, Sarah E. Church, Judy M. Lau, Matthew M. Sieth, and Patricia E. Voll of Stanford University; and Eric Bryerton of NRAO 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-47348

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Ultra-Low-Noise W-Band MMIC Detector Modules

(reference NPO-47348) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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

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