ISSTT Proceedings

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A Compact, Continuous-Wave Radiation Source for Local Oscillator Applications Based on a Quantum-Cascade Laser

Authors:
H. Richter, M. Greiner-Bär, S.G. Pavlov, A.D. Semenov, M. Wienold, L. Schrottke, M. Giehler, R. Hey, H.T. Grahn, H.-W. Hübers
Abstract:
Heterodyne spectroscopy of molecular rotational lines and atomic fine-structure lines is a powerful tool in astronomy and planetary research. It allows for studying the chemical composition, the evolution, and the dynamical behaviour of many astronomical objects. As a consequence, current and future airborne as well as spaceborne observatories such as SOFIA, Herschel or Millimetron are equipped with heterodyne spectrometers. A major challenge for heterodyne receivers operating above approximately 2 THz is the local oscillator, which should be a compact source requiring little electrical input power. THz quantum-cascade lasers (QCLs) have the potential to comply with these requirements. However, until now, THz QCLs operate at rather low temperatures so that cooling by liquid helium or using large cryo-coolers becomes necessary. While these cooling approaches might be acceptable for laboratory experiments, they either result in too many restrictions on airborne or spaceborne heterodyne receivers or are completely unacceptable.
Categories:
Sources
Year:
2010
Session:
2
Full-text:
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Page Number(s):
64