High-Performance Smooth-Walled Horn Antennas for THz Frequency Range: Design and Evaluation

Daniel Arturo Montofre*, Rocio Molina, Andrey Khudchenko, Ronald Hesper, Andrey M. Baryshev, Nicolas Reyes, Fausto Patricio Mena

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Traditionally, corrugated conical horn antennas have been the main choice for use in astronomical receivers in the range of millimeter and submillimeter waves. They present low cross-polar level and high coupling efficiency into the fundamental Gaussian mode. However, this type of antenna is difficult to manufacture, inevitably increasing its price and extending the production process. In this article, we present two kinds of feed horn antennas, aimed for use in a frequency range equivalent to atacama large millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA) Band 6 (211-275GHz), which can be fabricated in a much simpler way with the conventional machining tools. Specifically, we present the design and performance comparison of smooth-walled spline-profile horns in two geometries, diagonal, and conical. Optimization of the designs has been made by means of an algorithm that allowed us to obtain models whose electrical and mechanical characteristics make them competitive when compared with corrugated horns. In particular, they are $\text{40}\%$ shorter than the conventional corrugated horns suited for this band, representing an advantage given the stringent space constraints of most astronomical receivers. We also demonstrate that they can be coupled efficiently to an astronomical-grade optical system, using ALMA Band-6 receiver as an example. Furthermore, we have constructed the diagonal horn and characterized it thoroughly. Experimental results of the radiation pattern at room temperature show a good cross-polar performance with levels below -20dB and Gaussicity above $\text{96}\%$. Our calculations show a good antenna-efficiency level with losses less than $\text{1}\%$. All these properties demonstrate the feasibility of this type of horns to become the main option at the time of choosing a feed system for cutting-edge astronomical applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)587-597
Number of pages11
JournalIeee transactions on terahertz science and technology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2019
Event30th International Symposium on Space Terahertz Technology (ISSTT) - Gothenburg, Sweden
Duration: 15-Apr-201917-Apr-2019


  • Atacama large millimeter
  • submillimeter array (ALMA)
  • conical horn
  • diagonal horn
  • millimeter
  • submillimeter wave
  • optical train calculation
  • profile optimization
  • radiation pattern measurements
  • spline profile
  • split block

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