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Paper: Early Days of SIS Receivers
Volume: 417, Submillimeter Astrophysics and Technology: A Symposium Honoring Thomas G. Phillips
Page: 3
Authors: Woody, D. P.
Abstract: The modern era of millimeter and submillimeter spectral line observations and interferometry started at end of the 1979 with the invention of the Superconductor-Insulator-Superconductor (SIS) mixer. Tom Phillips co-invented this device while working at Bell Telephone Labs (BTL) in Murray Hill, NJ. His group built the first astronomically useful SIS heterodyne receiver which was deployed on the Leighton 10.4 m telescope at the Caltech Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) in the same year. Tom Phillips joined the Caltech faculty in the early 1980s where his group continues to lead the way in developing state-of-the-art SIS receivers throughout the millimeter and submillimeter wavelength bands. The rapid progress in millimeter and submillimeter astronomy during 1980s required developments on many fronts including the theoretical understanding of the device physics, advances in device fabrication, microwave and radio frequency (RF) circuit design, mixer block construction, development of wideband low-noise intermediate frequency (IF) amplifiers and the telescopes used for making the observations. Many groups around the world made important contributions to this field but the groups at Caltech and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under the leadership of Tom Phillips made major contributions in all of these areas. The end-to-end understanding and developments from the theoretical device physics to the astronomical observations and interpretation has made this group uniquely productive.
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