Arcetri Astrophysical Observatory

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logosmallarcetriArcetri Technical Reports 4/2006

A modular multichannel spectrometer - design study 

G. Comoretto(1), A. D'Ambrosi(2), R. Nesti(1), A. Russo(3), F. Palagi(4)

(1) INAF - Osservatorio di Arcetri
(2) Università di Firenze - Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettronica
(3) Università di Firenze - Dipartimento di Astronomia
(4) INAF - Istituto di Radioastronomia - sez. di Firenze


The new generation of multichannel, wideband radio receivers require a spectrometer with a very wide input bandwidth (up to a few GHz), many simultaneous input channels (of the order of a few tens) and high spectral resolution (several thousand spectral points). With the currently available programmable devices such an instrument can be developed within a reasonable cost budget. The Radioastronomy group has gained a considerable experience with these systems designing a digital tunable filterboard for the ALMA correlator. in collaboration with the Bordeaux Observatory. The same board can be reprogrammed to implement a working prototype of such an instrument. In this report we analyze the specifications and possible performances of such a technological demonstrator, based on a few ALMA boards and a commercial fast analog-to-digital converter. The system will provide up to 16 channels with a band of up to 62 MHz each, and a spectral resolution of at least 1024 spectral points per channel, with polarimetric capabilities.

Postscript and Pdf version of this report