Special Issue for FAST

The design of China Reconfigurable ANalog-digital backEnd for FAST

Xin-Xin Zhang, Ran Duan, Xin-Ying Yu, Di Li, Ning-Yu Tang, Tao-Chung Ching


Abstract The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) was launched on 2016 September 25. From early 2017, we began to use the FAST wideband receiver, which was designed, constructed and installed on the FAST in Guizhou, China. The front end of the receiver is composed an uncooled Quad Ridge Flared Horn feed (QRFH) with the frequency range of 270 to 1620 MHz, and a cryostat operating at 10 K. We have cooperated with the Institute of Automation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to develop the China Reconfigurable ANalog-digital backEnd (CRANE). The system covers the 3 GHz operating band of FAST. The hardware part of the backend includes an Analog Front-end Board, a wideband high precision Analog Digital Converter, and a FAST Digital Back-end. Analog circuit boards, field programmable gate arrays, and control computers form a set of hardware, software, and firmware platforms to achieve flexible bandwidth requirements through parameter changes. It is also suitable for the versatility of different astronomical observations, and can meet specific requirements. This paper briefly introduces the hardware and software of CRANE, as well as some observations of the system.


Keywords radio astronomy instrumentation — methods and techniques — instrumentation: miscellaneous

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