At supra-THz frequencies (>1 THz) the superconducting hot-electron bolometer (HEB) mixers can provide sensitivities close to the quantum noise limit. Approaching this limit motivates to look for other ways to increase the observing efficiency, one of which is to detect both orthogonal polarizations to increase the receiver signal-to-noise ratio by a factor of √2 (or the observation speed by a factor of 2). Gao’s team is developing this technology from design and fabrication to full experimental demonstration.
Technology development of THz superconducting mixers capable of receiving signals with two orthogonal polarizations in order to increase the signal-to-noise ratio of the space heterodyne receivers. This is crucial for detecting super-weak but scientifically important celestial signals.
Contribution to the future NASA’s space mission OASIS (Orbiting Astronomical Satellite Investigating Stellar Systems) that will provide insight to the evolution of proto-planetary systems.