We present the design, manufacturing methods, and characterization of 20 microwave feed horns currently in use on the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) satellite. The nature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy requires a detailed understanding of the properties of every optical component of a microwave telescope. In particular, the properties of the feeds must be known so that the forward gain and sidelobe response of the telescope can be modeled and so that potential systematic effects may be computed. MAP requires low emissivity, azimuthally symmetric, low-sidelobe feeds in five microwave bands (K, Ka, Q, V, and W) that fit within a constrained geometry. The beam pattern of each feed is modeled and compared with measurements; the agreement is generally excellent to the - 60 dB level (80° from the beam peak). This agreement verifies the beam-predicting software and the manufacturing process. The feeds also affect the properties and modeling of the microwave receivers. To this end, we show that the reflection from the feeds is less than - 25 dB over most of each band and that their emissivity is acceptable. The feeds meet their multiple requirements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science
- Cosmic microwave background
- Instrumentation: Miscellaneous