superheterodyne receiver

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A receiver widely used in radio astronomy in which the incoming radio-frequency (RF) signal is mixed with a signal of lower frequency generated by a local oscillator, thereby reducing its frequency to a value (the intermediate frequency, IF) which can be more readily amplified and filtered. Receivers designed for high RFs may have more than one such stage. The receiver is tuned by varying the frequency of the local oscillator so that the IF is kept constant.

Subjects: Physics — Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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