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China’s giant radio telescope will soon see further into space

Discussion in 'China & Far East' started by TaiShang, May 18, 2018.

  1. TaiShang

    TaiShang ELITE MEMBER

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    China’s giant radio telescope will soon see further into space

    (People's Daily Online) 14:10, May 18, 2018

    China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, known as FAST, will shortly complete its latest upgrade. The upgrade will help the telescope see even further into space.

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    The upgrade of FAST, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope, includes adding an advanced 19-beam receiver system to replace the current single-beam version. The new device is expected to be ready in early June.

    Jointly developed by Chinese and Australian scientists, the receiver system is the first device of its kind in the world. Weighing 1.2 tons, it is worth more than 20 million yuan ($3.14 million).

    The new receiver will be at least five times more accurate than the old model.

    According to Jin Chengjin, chief engineer of the 19-beam receiver system, the receiver will greatly improve the efficiency of the FAST radio telescope, playing a significant role in pulsar-searching and spectral line observation.

    With the help of the advanced device, the FAST radio telescope will be able to detect more pulsars and observe the neutral 1.4GHz spectrum from different distances and directions. It could even detect possible alien civilization.

    http://en.people.cn/n3/2018/0518/c90000-9461598.html
     
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  2. war&peace

    war&peace ELITE MEMBER

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    That's huge..waiting for some mesmerising pictures of far off elusive binaries and brown dwarfs.
     
  3. jamahir

    jamahir ELITE MEMBER

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    @amardeep mishra, your input please.

    Wait !!

    Doesn't "Five hundred aperture" mean that there are 500 sections whose data is then digitized and joined into one??

    Are those towers lightening conductors??

    The dish looks a lot more than 1.2 tons. What material was used to make the dish??

    What does 19-beam mean??
     
  4. amardeep mishra

    amardeep mishra FULL MEMBER

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    Hi @jamahir
    I no longer work in the domain of radars, however based on my knowledge of radio telescopes, they are giant receivers-- many of them. The principle is very simple, they focus all the antenna towards one very very tiny section of sky and receive data. The major problem here in analysis of very distant objects is ability to discriminate between the phase difference(we are talking about accuracy of billionth or perhaps even higher). Here the ability to discriminate between phase difference is much more precise than atomic clock! Now when lets say 10 giant antenna spanning continents focus on a very tiny section of our sky, the aperture theoretically becomes the entire surface of earth. We can look far deeper and further back into the history of evolution of our universe. US already has such giant radio telescopes installed at various locations for instance north America, south America(brazil), south pole, Europe, Australia etc.
    The data collected at each such radio telescope location is sent to a either US(MIT) or Germany for post processing. We are talking about 1000TBs of data generated for let's say a few weeks of operation.
    Here in this particular case the aperture is made up of many individual receivers--I guess 19 channels as mentioned in the report. India too has giant telescopes however we don't have network of them spanning continents to look billions of light years away. We have to rely on the data provided by NASA etc.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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