Ryan Wong grew up in Wailua on the island of Kauai and graduated from Island School 2008. He joined KCC’s electronic program in 2010 and will graduate next fall semester. He plans to work for a year to gain more experience, then continue his education in electrical engineering at UH Manoa. He is interested in studying digital and electronic circuits. Ryan enjoys paddling, surfing, hiking, camping, and spending time with family.

Institution when accepted:  Kauai Community College.

Akamai Project:  Radio Frequency Instrument Design and Testing

Project Site:  Smithsonian Submillimeter Array

Mentors: Derek Kubo & Ryan Chilson

Project Abstract:

The SMA is an interferometer telescope operating at submillimeter wavelengths. With the advancement of technology, the SMA desires to increase the astronomical signal bandwidth, which would increase the sensitivity of the telescope array. In order to ac-complish this, the SMA needs to upgrade existing hardware and design new hardware to support the increase in bandwidth. The Block Down Converter (BDC) is one of sev-eral new units that are required to process the increased signal bandwidth. The BDC is used to translate intermediate frequencies down to baseband frequencies for digiti-zation, using high-speed analog-to-digital converters. This project involves the deter-mination of the test and measurement methods for the BDC. There are three methods identified: the first is using a Noise Source (NS) and spectrum analyzer, the second is using a Vector Network Analyzer (VNA), and the third is using a signal sweeper and power meter. From these methods, we can determine the real transfer function of the BDC. My goal is to determine which test method to use, and to characterize the “real” transfer function. The BDC would probably not have an ideal transfer function; how-ever, we could try getting as close as possible by moving or removing certain compo-nents, which could give better results for the output signal. Of the three test methods that we used on the BDC, only one test method gave us inherently accurate results. The preferred test method is to use the signal sweeper and power meter. The other two test methods gave us inherently inaccurate results; however, the VNA method did provide us with additional phase response information that the other two did not.