Large arrays of cryogenic sensors for various imaging applications ranging across x-ray, gamma-ray, cosmic microwave background, mm/sub-mm, as well as particle detection increasingly rely on superconducting microresonators for high multiplexing factors. These microresonators take the form of microwave SQUIDs that couple to transition-edge sensors or microwave kinetic inductance detectors. In principle, such arrays can be read out with vastly scalable software-defined radio using suitable FPGAs, ADCs and DACs. In this work, we share plans and show initial results for SLAC Microresonator Radio Frequency (SMuRF) electronics, a next-generation control and readout system for superconducting microresonators. SMuRF electronics are unique in their implementation of specialized algorithms for closed-loop tone tracking, which consists of fast feedback and feedforward to each resonator’s excitation parameters based on transmission measurements. Closed-loop tone tracking enables improved system linearity, a significant increase in sensor count per readout line, and the possibility of overcoupled resonator designs for enhanced dynamic range. Low-bandwidth prototype electronics were used to demonstrate closed-loop tone tracking on twelve 300-kHz-wide microwave SQUID resonators, spaced at $$\sim $$ ∼ 6 MHz with center frequencies $$\sim $$ ∼ 5–6 GHz. We achieve multi-kHz tracking bandwidth and demonstrate that the noise floor of the electronics is subdominant to the noise intrinsic in the multiplexer.
Journal of Low Temperature Physics – Springer Journals
Published: May 30, 2018
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