Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type




First Advisor

Prof. Jason Glenn


This work presents the results of the testing and characterization done on a set of HEMT amplifiers to verify their capabilities for use in the Multicolor Submillimeter Inductance Camera (MUSIC), which is to become the primary millimeter/submillimeter camera for the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory in the coming months. We have constructed a testbed to place the amplifiers in the same cryogenic conditions they will experience in the MUSIC cryostat. These tests provide detailed insight into the gain and noise contribution from the amplifiers, and will allow for the meaningful analysis of astronomical data. Specifically, we measured the scattering parameter S21 over a range of HEMT bias settings, as well as the white noise and 1/f noise. We used these measurements to determine the bias settings best suited to our purposes. With the ideal settings in hand, we proceeded to measure the effective noise temperatures of the HEMTs. The combined collection of these measurements demonstrated that all but two of the HEMTs have acceptable characteristics.