TRW Inc., Redondo Beach, CA, and Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization have formed a strategic alliance to develop high-performance gallium arsenide and indium phosphide components for radio astronomy, advanced millimeter-wave sensors, and telecommunications systems.
Velocium, TRW’s telecommunication products company, and CSIRO have already worked together on upgrading the organization’s Australia Telescope, the Southern Hemisphere’s premier radio telescope.
“Velocium’s InP chips are helping improve the science of astronomy now, and will soon be helping improve the performance of other sensor and telecommunication systems,” said Dwight Streit, president of Velocium. “The Australia Telescope is a demanding test bed for our InP chips.”
InP low-noise amplifiers and digital receiver chips, designed by CSIRO engineers and fabricated by Velocium, were a key part of the upgrade. The telescope now operates at frequencies up to 100 billion cycles per second (100 GHz) and has just produced new, detailed observations of Centaurus A, the nearest galaxy harboring a supermassive black hole.