A Cyberinfrastructure platform to meet the needs of data intensive radio astronomy on route to the SKA

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Receiver Systems

Last updated 4335 days ago by Russ Taylor

The electromagnetic signals received by the SKA antenna elements must be amplified and converted to digital format for down stream signal processing.  With focal plane array systems, millions of these receivers will be required.  Consequently they must be low cost, low power, operate over a broad bandwidth and have ultra-low noise figures.    The Radio Frequency Integrated Circuit (RFIC) research group at the Schulich School of Engineering node of the Institute for Space Imaging Science is developing ambient temperature receiver chain devices based on CMOS technologies to meet the specifications of the SKA.

The figure below shows a CMOS based low-noise amplifier.  This devices has acheived a 0.2db  noise figure (equivalent noise temperature of 14K ) across a 1 GHz bandwidth (shown at right) while operating at ambient temperature.


Following amplification the signals must be converted from an analog waveform to a digital bit stream.  The picture below is a prototype analog-to-digital converter that acheives GB/s rates at power levels of a few mW.