Amplifier, WMAP Cryogenic InP HEMT Low Noise Amplifier


Display Status:

This object is on display in the Explore the Universe exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

Collection Item Summary:

This amplifier is a key electronic component (unflown but flight ready, with a non-flight plug) in the WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) satellite allowing for low noise amplification of the front end detectors of the Probe without need for sustained active deep cryogenic working environment. It would work to specification when cooled to -90K utilizing passive thermal radiators, which greatly extended the potential lifetime of the mission. Some 80 amplifiers of this basic design were employed on the Probe. These devices were designed, fabricated and rated for flight at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's Central Development Laboratory in Charlottesville, VA. This microwave technology has also been applied to the NRAO ALMA array.

Collection Item Long Description:

Inventory Number


Credit Line

Transferred from the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Country of Origin

United States of America


Mixed metals and solid state electronics


3-D: 4 × 1.5 × 5cm (1 9/16 × 9/16 × 1 15/16 in.)

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum


MODELS-Unmanned Spacecraft & Parts