We present the design, and prototype phases of the intermediate frequency (IF) system for the upcoming balloon borne observatory, Galactic/Extragalactic Ultra-Long Duration Balloon (ULDB) Spectroscopic Terahertz Ob- servatory (GUSTO). GUSTO is a multi-organizational project whose goal is to address several key unanswered questions concerning all of the phases of the stellar life cycle within the Interstellar Medium (ISM). Using the NASA ULDB system for its platform, GUSTO will employ on-the-fly mapping techniques to scan a total of 124 square degrees of the Milky Way and Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). GUSTO will survey the three brightest cooling lines in the Milky Way and the LMC. These lines are [CII], [OI], and [NII] corresponding to the three wavelengths of 158, 63, and 205 micron respectively. The completed survey will provide higher angular, and velocity resolution than that of previous surveys of [CII], [OI], and [NII]. These lines will be measured using three 8-pixel heterodyne arrays, each one dedicated to an individual cooling line, and all working together to make a 24-pixel focal plane. The GUSTO IF system is being designed to operate at low power consumption and high sensitivity all in a compact and lightweight package. The IF system will include a wideband 0.3 - 5 GHz, cryogenic, low noise amplifier (LNA), which will boost the IF output of a superconducting hot electron bolometer (HEB) mixer. The LNA was designed with commercial, off the shelf SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistors, and surface mount passive components. The LNA design has been optimized for low power consumption, and for sensitivity. The input impedance of the LNA is matched to the output impedance of the mixer over a wide range of frequencies to reduce reflections, and standing waves. Warm IF electronics have also been designed using commercial, off the shelf, surface mount SiGe transistors in order to achieve a high, and at gain (>50dB) over the entire bandwidth. These components provide variable gain and deliver an optimum signal level to the analog to digital converter of the backend spectrometer. The warm IF components were optimized for wide bandwidth, low power consumption, as well as reliability, and fit in a compact package. Commercially fabricated custom flexible printed circuit boards are being used for multi-channel stripline-based transmission lines, instead of the traditional stainless steel cryogenic semi-rigid coaxial cables. Replacing coaxial cables with the flexible printed circuit boards allows us to transmit through up to 16 lines on a single flex circuit, without losing performance, and furthering the design goal of providing a compact/lightweight solution. Each of the components used in this IF system will undergo rigorous qualification testing, and documentation in accordance with a NASA Class-D balloon mission. We discuss the design challenges in adapting cryogenic, and warm IF electronics to operate for an ultra long duration balloon mission.
The mm-wavelength sky reveals the initial phase of structure formation, at all spatial scales, over the entire observable history of the Universe. Over the past 20 years, advances in mm-wavelength detectors and camera systems have allowed the field to take enormous strides forward – particularly in the study of the Cosmic Microwave Background – but limitations in mapping speeds, sensitivity and resolution have plagued studies of astrophysical phenomena. In fact, limitations due to inherent biases in the ground-based mm-wavelength surveys conducted over the last 2 decades continue to motivate the need for deeper and wider-area maps made with increased angular resolution. TolTEC is a new camera that will fill the focal plane of the 50m diameter Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) and provide simultaneous, polarization-sensitive imaging at 2.0, 1.4, and 1.1mm wavelengths. The instrument, now under construction, is a cryogenically cooled receiver housing three separate kilo-pixel arrays of Kinetic Inductance Detectors (KIDs) that are coupled to the telescope through a series of silicon lenses and dichroic splitters. TolTEC will be installed and commissioned on the LMT in early 2019 where it will become both a facility instrument and also perform a series of 100 hour “Legacy Surveys” whose data will be publicly available. The initial four surveys in this series: the Clouds to Cores Legacy Survey, the Fields in Filaments Legacy Survey, the Ultra-Deep Legacy Survey and the Large Scale Structure Survey are currently being defined in public working groups of astronomers coordinated by TolTEC Science Team members. Data collection for these surveys will begin in late 2019 with data releases planned for late 2020 and 2021. Herein we describe the instrument concept, provide performance data for key subsystems, and provide an overview of the science, schedule and plans for the initial four Legacy Survey concepts.