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.