We report on a heterodyne receiver designed to observe the astrophysically important neutral atomic oxygen [OI] line at 4.7448 THz. The local oscillator is a third-order distributed feedback quantum cascade laser operating in continuous wave mode at 4.741 THz. A quasi-optical, superconducting NbN hot electron bolometer is used as the mixer. We recorded a double sideband receiver noise temperature (T r e c D S B) of 815 K, which is ∼ 7 times the quantum noise limit (h ν 2 k B) and an Allan variance time of 15 s at an effective noise fluctuation bandwidth of 18 MHz. Heterodyne performance was confirmed by measuring a methanol line spectrum.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)