Facilities > CDL > Facilities


by Eric Bryerton last modified Jul 08, 2015 by Mary Mayo

NTC sign.jpg

The CDL is located in the NRAO Technology Center (NTC) building, located just west of Charlottesville, VA.  The NTC contains about 38,000 square feet of lab and office space.  A loading dock provides access to a large first floor testing lab with high ceilings, sufficient to house the ALMA receiver tilt stations.  A freight elevator provides equipment access to the second and third floors.  Several compressors service 12K and 4K closed-cycle refrigerators for cryogenic testing of low-noise amplifiers, SIS mixers, and receivers.

The CDL maintains the complete suite of facilities and expertise to design, develop, assemble, and test components and systems for low-noise cryogenic receivers.  Engineering design and simulation is performed using microwave circuit and electromagnetic simulation software packages such as AWR Microwave Office, AWR Sonnet, CST Microwave Studio, and Quickwave-3D.  Complete 3D models are drawn in Autodesk Inventor.  Components are machined in the NTC precision machine shop for frequencies up to 1.5 THz. The NTC chemistry lab produces electromagentic components with complex internal structure using electroforming techniques.  Plating services are also performed for reduced loss and corrosion.

There are several spectrum analyzers and vector network analyzers operating up to 325 GHz.  A probe stations provides wafer-level testing capability up to 220 GHz.  Cryogenic testing capability and expertise are in house for receiver noise, near-field beam patterns, and stability.

NTC Building