Broadband IF circuits for superconductor isolator superconductor (SIS) mixers for the Heterodyne Instrument for the far infrared on the Herschel Space Observatory and for sideband separating mixers


This thesis describes the development and manufacturing of the IF circuits for two different heterodyne receivers used for sub-mm radio astronomy. The first project is the broadband 4-8 GHz IF circuitry for the mixer units for band 2 of the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI). This instrument will be operating onboard of ESA’s Herschel space observatory. The band 2 mixer units for HIFI, built by KOSMA, implement low noise SIS mixers in a very compact, modular design. The complete IF path in the mixer units consist of the mixer block (with the SIS mixer chip) and the bias-T, which is needed to apply a bias voltage to the SIS-junction and to extract the IF signal. The detailed investigation of the IF performance of the mixer block must consider the geometric capacitances of the SIS-junction and the tuning structure as well as the inductance of the bond wires used to establish the contact between the mixer chip and the SMA output connector. The calculations presented in this thesis show that the design can be used for IF frequencies up to 12 GHz. The bias-T, which is implemented in the mixer unit, is a dedicated, new development with high performance and high reliability complying with the special requirements for a spaceborne instrument. These include the survival under high mechanical stress such as vibration during the launch and extensive thermal cycling to cryogenic temperatures during the tests of the mixer unit and the instrument.
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