We describe the design, fabrication, and the performance of a low-noise dual-polarized quasi-optical superconductor insulator superconductor (SIS) mixer at 550 GHz. The mixer utilizes a novel cross-slot antenna on a hyperhemispherical substrate lens, two junction tuning circuits, niobium trilayer junctions, and an IF circuit containing a lumped element 180 deg hybrid. The antenna consists of an orthogonal pair of twin-slot antennas, and has four feed points, two for each polarization. Each feed point is coupled to a two-junction SIS mixer. The 180 deg IF hybrid is implemented using a lumped element/microstrip circuit located inside the mixer block. Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS) measurements of the mixer frequency response show good agreement with computer simulations. The measured co-polarized and cross-polarized patterns for both polarizations also agree with the theoretical predictions. The noise performance of the dual-polarized mixer is excellent, giving uncorrected receiver noise temperature of better than 115 K (DSB) at 528 GHz for both the polarizations.
Ames Research Center; Goddard Space Flight Center; Jet Propulsion Laboratory