ALMA2030: Development study to check the feasibility of upgrading Band 7 kicks off

Published: 10 Dec 2020

A new development study, led by the Institut de Radio Astronomie Millimétrique (IRAM) in Grenoble, will investigate the feasibility of upgrading the ALMA Band 7 receivers.

This study will look into increasing the IF bandwidth by a factor of 2 to 4, one of the key recommendations of the ALMA Development Roadmap. This will require the design of new SIS mixers, e.g, employing ultra-thin membranes and beam leads, and designing a corresponding wide bandwidth IF chain. In addition, the study will explore an optics upgrade based on a single feedhorn and an orthomode transducer (OMT), to improve polarisation and other performance aspects. Finally, the study will look into retrofit plans for the cartridges to allow for interoperability with the existing cartridges during the upgrade period.