A 183-GHz InP/CMOS-Hybrid Heterodyne-Spectrometer for Spaceborne Atmospheric Remote Sensing

Yanghyo Kim*, Yan Zhang, Theodore James Reck, Deacon J. Nemchick, Goutam Chattopadhyay, Brian Drouin, Mau-Chung Chang, Adrian Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


A complete 183-GHz CMOS/Indium Phosphide (InP) hybrid heterodyne-spectrometer is realized for spaceborne atmospheric remote sensing applications. It captures spontaneous emission from thermally populated pure rotational states for investigating Earth/planetary atmosphere and interstellar media. Recent missions such as the heterodyne instrument for far-infrared, the microwave limb sounder, and the microwave instrument for Rosetta orbiter highlighted the wealth of scientific knowledge that can be attained by utilizing heterodyne-spectrometers. However, major challenges still remain in mission cost, instrument size, weight, and power (SWaP). Highly integrated CMOS circuits are designed to prototype a low-cost/SWaP spectrometer system and conduct challenging science missions. Within the prototype system, a 183-GHz receiver with a frequency synthesizer is designed in the 28-nm CMOS, and a back-end 6-GS/s 4096-point spectrometer processor is designed in the 65-nm CMOS. The receiver's center frequency is tunable from 180 to 200 GHz. An external InP low-noise amplifier is added at the front-end to provide the required receiver sensitivity. The demonstrated 28-nm CMOS receiver and 65-nm CMOS spectrometer consume 515 mW under 1.5/1.15-V and 1500 mW under 1 V supply, respectively. The complete system achieves 700 to 1000 K noise temperature within the interested bandwidth and RMS uncertainty improvement up to 10 s integration according to the Allan deviation measurements. The spectrometer's capability in detecting gas phase molecular compounds is verified with laboratory trials employing water (H 2 O) and methyl-cyanide (CH 3 CN).

Original languageEnglish
Article number8691603
Pages (from-to)313-334
Number of pages22
JournalIEEE Transactions on Terahertz Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


  • Allan deviation
  • analog-to-digital converter (ADC)
  • complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)
  • fast Fourier transform (FFT)
  • frequency switching
  • frequency synthesizer
  • heterodyne receiver
  • indium phosphide (InP) low-noise amplifier (LNA)
  • noise temperature
  • power spectral density (PSD)
  • remote sensing
  • rotational spectroscopy
  • spectrometer

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