Abstract: A recent breakthrough in amplifier technology called the Travelling-Wave Kinetic Inductance Parametric (TKIP) amplifier has resulted in near quantum-limited performance over more than an octave instantaneous bandwidth in the microwave range. The enhanced observational capabilities that would be enabled by these amplifiers would benefit all ALMA science across all bands. For example, in band 3 a front-end RF TKIP amplifier would double the system sensitivity and reduce array integration time by 4x. Furthermore, given future correlator upgrades, the improved RF noise performance would allow wider-band conventional IF amplifiers up to 32 GHz, which would substantially reduce integration time for line surveys and improve sensitivity for continuum observations. Finally, another application of TKIP amplifiers is to use them as quantum-limited IF amplifiers, which could be applied as a one size fits all replacement for all ALMA IF amplifiers, and would reduce SIS receiver noise typically by 2x. So far, driven by the quantum computing community, the majority of work on these amplifiers has been in the sub-Kelvin temperature range. However, our collaborator at JPL recently demonstrated an IF TKIP amplifier with 20dB gain operating at 4K, which is compatible with the ALMA cryo-coolers. We believe that this can be extended to the RF amplifiers, which are based on the same physics and principles. The main challenge is in further optimizing the superconducting thin-film materials to retain their sub-Kelvin properties at elevated temperatures, which is already underway at our collaborators labs at UVA/UVML and JPL.
Open floor for discussion on other topics as time permits