Our growing capabilities allow us to peer into the early universe, study comets to discover where Earth’s water came from, keep us secure at airports with fast terahertz scanning, and ensure exciting future missions to Venus and the outer planets.
The Submillimeter-Wave Advanced Technology Group’s focus is developing components and technologies to enable spaceborne instruments based on high-resolution heterodyne spectrometers for Earth remote sensing missions, planetary missions, and astrophysics observatories. The group’s technical expertise is also utilized for ground-based applications spun off from heterodyne receiver technologies. Heterodyne technology allows mapping and detection of unique molecular signatures with very high spectral resolution over a wide range of wavelengths. JPL/NASA has been the traditional leader in this field owing to its wide applicability for astrophysics and Earth remote sensing. Next-generation technology development will allow us to build and deploy compact, submillimeter-wave receivers that are ideally suited for planetary missions.