One-chip analog circuits for a new type of plasma wave receiver on board space missions
Abstract. Plasma waves are important observational targets for scientific missions investigating space plasma phenomena. Conventional fast Fourier transform (FFT)-based spectrum plasma wave receivers have the disadvantages of a large size and a narrow dynamic range. This paper proposes a new type of FFT-based spectrum plasma wave receiver that overcomes the disadvantages of conventional receivers. The receiver measures and calculates the whole spectrum by dividing the observation frequency range into three bands: bands 1, 2, and 3, which span 1 Hz to 1 kHz, 1 to 10 kHz, and 10 to 100 kHz, respectively. To reduce the size of the receiver, its analog section was realized using application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) technology, and an ASIC chip was successfully developed. The dimensions of the analog circuits were 4.21 mm × 1.16 mm. To confirm the performance of the ASIC, a test system for the receiver was developed using the ASIC, an analog-to-digital converter, and a personal computer. The frequency resolutions for bands 1, 2, and 3 were 3.2, 32, and 320 Hz, respectively, and the average time resolution was 384 ms. These frequency and time resolutions are superior to those of conventional FFT-based receivers.