A Proposed Heterodyne Receiver for the Origins Space Telescope

Martina C. Wiedner*, Imran Mehdi, Andrey Baryshev, Victor Belitsky, Vincent Desmaris, Anna Maria DiGiorgio, Juan-Daniel Gallego, Maryvonne Gerin, Paul Goldsmith, Frank Helmich, Willem Jellema, Andre Laurens, Christophe Risacher, Asantha Cooray, Margaret Meixner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The HEterodyne Receiver for the Origins Space Telescope (HERO) is a proposed design for a heterodyne focal plane array for a large space mission. The Origins Space Telescope (OST) is one of the four missions selected to be studied by NASA for the 2020 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal survey. HERO is designed to observe the trail of water from the interstellar medium (ISM) to disks around protostars. In Concept 1, HERO provides continuous frequency coverage from 468 to 2700 GHz in fi e bands and a sixth band to cover 4700 GHz. Most bands include 2 x 64 pixels providing at least an order of magnitude higher mapping speeds than available with today's instruments. Receiver sensitivities are expected to be close to the quantum limit. HERO Concept 2, highly constrained by cost and denoted Little-HERO, includes four bands with continuous coverage from 486 to 2700 GHz and with focal plane arrays having only 2 x 9 pixels per band. Both of these THz receiver concepts will be described and the designs will be motivated by the science drivers, the space craft constraints and the latest technological developments. The HERO design builds on the highly successful Herschel/Heterodyne Instrument for the Far-Infrared, on Stratospheric Observatory for Far-Infrared Astronomy/upGREAT and many other heterodyne receivers, but surpasses these in terms of frequency coverage, array size and sensitivity, thanks to the latest technical advances. HERO can be considered an example of a new generation of heterodyne focal plane arrays for future space missions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-571
Number of pages14
JournalIeee transactions on terahertz science and technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2018
Event29th IEEE International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology (ISSTT - Pasadena, Canada
Duration: 26-Mar-201828-Mar-2018


  • Array receivers
  • far-infrared (far-IR) space instruments
  • heterodyne instruments
  • heterodyne receivers
  • THz astronomy
  • THz detectors

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