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Digital Frequency Domain Multiplexer for mm-Wavelength Telescopes

Abstract

An FPGA based digital signal processing (DSP) system for biasing and reading out multiplexed bolometric detectors for mm-wavelength telescopes is presented. This readout system is being deployed for balloon-borne and ground based cosmology experiments with the primary goal of measuring the signature of inflation with the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. The system consists of analog superconducting electronics running at 250 mK and 4 K, coupled to digital room temperature backend electronics described here. The digital electronics perform the real time functionality with DSP algorithms implemented in firmware. A soft embedded processor provides all of the slow housekeeping control and communications. Each board in the system synthesizes multi-frequency combs of 8 to 32 carriers in the MHz band to bias the detectors. After the carriers have been modulated with the sky-signal by the detectors, the same boards digitize the comb directly. The carriers are mixed down to base-band and low pass filtered. The signal bandwidth of 0.050 Hz-100 Hz places extreme requirements on stability and requires powerful filtering techniques to recover the sky-signal from the MHz carriers.

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