AAS 204th Meeting, June 2004
Session 10 Instrumentation, Ground-based
Poster, Monday, May 31, 2004, 9:20am-6:30pm, Ballroom

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[10.09] A New Low-Noise Broadband Receiver for Methanol Maser Studies using the Arecibo 305m Radio Telescope

J.D. Pandian, P.F. Goldsmith, L. Baker, G. Cortes (Cornell Univ. & NAIC), R. Ganesan, L.S. Wray (NAIC), N. Wadefalk, S. Weinreb (Caltech)

The 50 - 61 A+ methanol line at 6.668 GHz is an excellent tracer of sites of high-mass star formation. However, until recently, no large radio telescope in the U.S. has been available with a receiver to study this line. We describe the design and construction of a relatively broadband receiver for the Arecibo radio telescope covering the 6 to 8 GHz range. This is the first centimeter wave receiver employing Indium Phosphide MMIC amplifiers in the front-end. The use of these devices has enabled us to achieve a receiver system temperature of about 10 K, resulting in an overall system temperature of 25-30 K on the telescope including contributions from scattered radiation, telescope emission, and the sky. The telescope sensitivity at 6.7 GHz has been measured to be approximately 5 K/Jy and is expected to increase after adjustments of the primary, secondary, and tertiary reflectors are carried out. We present a description of the receiver design, measurements of its performance, and preliminary astronomical observational results. This receiver is expected to contribute significantly to single dish observations and VLBI studies of methanol masers. This work has been supported by the National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center, which is operated by Cornell University under a cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

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