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Kinetic inductance parametric amplifiers: The next big thing for ALMA?

Jonas Zmuidzinas,
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, USA
The Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array, or ALMA, represents the world’s largest investment in ground-based astronomy and is well on the way to becoming the most scientifically productive facility. For example, ALMA is the centerpiece of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, which recently produced the first direct image of a black hole. The fundamental enabling technology for ALMA is the superconducting tunnel-junction or “SIS” receiver. After a brief overview of ALMA, I will trace the origins and development of SIS receivers and discuss their performance and limitations. I will then describe an emerging technology, the traveling-wave superconducting kinetic inductance parametric amplifier invented at Caltech/JPL, which has the potential to replace SIS receivers and thereby to dramatically improve ALMA’s capability.
FTMC Conference 2020, Vilnius, Lithuania, September 28-29, 2020