Submillimeter-wave Technology: From chips to ships

Dr. Imran Mehdi, Principal Engineer, Submillimeter-Wave Advanced Technology (SWAT), JPL

The Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI) on the Herschel Space Observatory is currently set to launch on April 16th, 2009. This talk will focus on how semiconductor device technology was developed to enable the local oscillator chains for HIFI. Planar GaAs Schottky diodes fabricated at the JPL have shown to work well into the THz range with spectacular results and were responsible for enabling HIFI. Current focus of our group is to utilize nanofabrication technologies to shrink the mass and power requirements of Submm instruments. To this effect, an approach of building a Radiometer-on-a-chip has been proposed and is currently being investigated.

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