MNRF1996 Upgrade: 3-mm System for the ATCA

Project Personnel

The System

The Science

Related Information

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Project Personnel

Project Leader: Graham Moorey, ATNF Receiver Group.


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Useful Links


The System


System Parameters

RF bandwidth: 85 - 115 GHz (*)
Maximum baseline: 6 km (+ Mopra)
Number of receivers:6 + 1 spare (+ Mopra)
System temperature: 180 K with InP MMIC
amplifiers at 100 GHz
Polarisation: dual
Comments: to be packaged with
the 12-mm receivers

(* While the precise upper frequency limit of the upgrade is still somewhat uncertain - being dependent on the performance attainable with leading-edge technology - indications are that coverage up to 115 GHz may be possible. However, in line with the MNRF Technical Advisory Committee recommendations, the ATCA performance below 100 GHz will not be compromised unduly in order to gain this band extension.)

(see also the original Project Definitions)

Here is the overall design of the prototype ATNF high-frequency receiving package and here the result as of September 1999. First tests of 12mm system at the ATCA were carried out in October 1999. The 3mm GaAs MMIC amplifiers failed to cool and we proceed with InP MMIC amplifiers, currently in production, instead. Both the 12mm and 3mm receivers are contained in a common cryogenic dewar, with the separate feed horns being moved to the secondary focus of the Australia Telescope Compact Array antennas using the existing rotator positioning system. Provision has been made in the dewar for a future 7mm receiver. Note that the 3mm feed horn is cooled to 20 K to minimize losses and that the 12 mm receiver is used about 100mm off-axis during phase correction of 3mm observations. All receivers in the dewar are dual-polariztion types, with polarization splitting achieved using waveguide, rather than the originally proposed wire grid components.

Projected ATCA mm-performance



Science Results from July 2001

  • Centaurus A (HCN (1-0), HCO+ (1-0), and HNC (1-0) absorption spectra)
  • NGC 253 (HCO+ (1-0) emission spectrum)
  • Circinus (HCO+ (1-0) emission spectrum)
  • Eta Carina (short continuum observation)
  • 1921-293 (searching for redshifted CO: z = 0.351 => 85.260 GHz)
  • IRC+10216 (HCN(1-0), C_3N(9-8), HNC(1-0), and SiS(5-4) emission spectra)
  • N113 (HCN (1-0) and HCO+ (1-0) emission spectra)
  • N159 (HCN (1-0) and HCO+ (1-0) emission spectra)
  • N6334 I(N) (SiO (2-1 v=0) mosaic)
  • N6334 I(N) and AHSco (SiO (2-1 v=1) and SiO (2-1 v=0); 276m baseline)

Results from January 11, 2001

Results December 10, 2000



Related Information

Links to Millimetre Telescopes, Instruments, etc.
Lovas Spectral Line Catalog (most amazing !!)
A four-page pamphlet describing the ATCA high-frequency (mm-wave) upgrade in simple terms (PDF File)


Go to 3mm project Introduction page
Go to MNRF1996 Projects Page
Go to MNRF1996 Home Page
Go to ATNF Home Page



Last update by Bärbel Koribalski: 21 June 2005

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