Multibeam receiver for FAST

The FAST receiver system.

NAOC approached CASS to design and manufacture the landmark L‐band receiver for its Five hundred metre Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), based on the success of similar receivers we have built for Parkes and the Arecibo telescopes. In comparison with these, the FAST receiver provides more beams (19), a wider bandwidth, lower noise and a more compact design. It is the largest, most complex cryogenic receiver we have built.

The team undertook most activities in house, such as the electromagnetic designs of the feeds and OMTs and the design and fabrication of the LNAs. This allowed development of a compact, integrated receiver.

Our standard monitor and control system was modernised for this project and we included a temperature stabilized noise injection calibration system based on requirements developed in close collaboration with the astronomers involved in commissioning the instrument.

This is the largest multibeam receiver of its kind. It will result in FAST becoming the most sensitive single dish survey instrument at this frequency.

Published Papers:

A. Dunning et al., "Design and laboratory testing of the five hundred meter aperture spherical telescope (FAST) 19 beam L-band receiver," 2017 XXXIInd General Assembly and Scientific Symposium of the International Union of Radio Science (URSI GASS), Montreal, QC, 2017, pp. 1-4.


S. L. Smith et al., "Performance validation of the 19-element multibeam feed for the five-hundred-metre aperture spherical radio telescope," 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation & USNC/URSI National Radio Science Meeting, San Diego, CA, 2017, pp. 2137-2138.


K. Jeganathan et al., "The FAST multi-beam receiver design with RF over fiber link," 2017 IEEE Asia Pacific Microwave Conference (APMC), Kuala Lumpar, 2017, pp. 244-247.


S. L. Smith, A. Dunning, M. Bowen and A. Hellicar, "Analysis of the five-hundred-metre aperture spherical radio telescope with a 19-element multibeam feed," 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation (APSURSI), Fajardo, 2016, pp. 383-384.


D. Li et al., "FAST in Space: Considerations for a Multibeam, Multipurpose Survey Using China's 500-m Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST)," in IEEE Microwave Magazine, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 112-119, May 2018.