Superconductor Digital-RF Receiver Systems

Oleg A. MUKHANOV  Dmitri KIRICHENKO  Igor V. VERNIK  Timur V. FILIPPOV  Alexander KIRICHENKO  Robert WEBBER  Vladimir DOTSENKO  Andrei TALALAEVSKII  Jia Cao TANG  Anubhav SAHU  Pavel SHEVCHENKO  Robert MILLER  Steven B. KAPLAN  Saad SARWANA  Deepnarayan GUPTA  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E91-C   No.3   pp.306-317
Publication Date: 2008/03/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e91-c.3.306
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Section on Recent Progress in Superconductive Digital Electronics)
RSFQ,  direct digitization,  cryocooler,  ADC,  digital channelizer,  

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Digital superconductor electronics has been experiencing rapid maturation with the emergence of smaller-scale, lower-cost communications applications which became the major technology drivers. These applications are primarily in the area of wireless communications, radar, and surveillance as well as in imaging and sensor systems. In these areas, the fundamental advantages of superconductivity translate into system benefits through novel Digital-RF architectures with direct digitization of wide band, high frequency radio frequency (RF) signals. At the same time the availability of relatively small 4 K cryocoolers has lowered the foremost market barrier for cryogenically-cooled digital electronic systems. Recently, we have achieved a major breakthrough in the development, demonstration, and successful delivery of the cryocooled superconductor digital-RF receivers directly digitizing signals in a broad range from kilohertz to gigahertz. These essentially hybrid-technology systems combine a variety of superconductor and semiconductor technologies packaged with two-stage commercial cryocoolers: cryogenic Nb mixed-signal and digital circuits based on Rapid Single Flux Quantum (RSFQ) technology, room-temperature amplifiers, FPGA processing and control circuitry. The demonstrated cryocooled digital-RF systems are the world's first and fastest directly digitizing receivers operating with live satellite signals in X-band and performing signal acquisition in HF to L-band at ~30 GHz clock frequencies.