An Amateur Radio Astronomy Observatory David Morgan

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Radio Astronomy. An Amateur Radio Astronomy Observatory David Morgan. Part 2 Interferometers & Aperture Synthesis From amateur equipment to future global systems. Radio Astronomy. Radio Astronomy. A. B. Total Power Receiver systems - Part 1 Interferometers - Part 2 (A&B) - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


An Amateur Radio Astronomy Observatory David MorganRadio AstronomyPart 2 Interferometers & Aperture SynthesisFrom amateur equipment to future global systemsWebsite - AstronomyWebsite - AstronomyTotal Power Receiver systems - Part 1Interferometers - Part 2 (A&B)Basic conceptObserving point sourcesSpatial resolution and sensitivityMultiple baselines & aperture synthesisFringe visibility functionsTodays best instrumentsThe future global radio telescope - The SKARadio WindowVLA New MexicoMk1 at Jodrell BankSKA 2020Cosmic hydrogen distribution< 300,000years after big bangOrigin of GalaxiesWebsite - Astronomy - Interferometer Basicssame signalfrom sourceoutputwave crests sometimes instepsometimes out of stepdepending on arrival angle Adding two wavesWebsite - Astronomy Adding signals together - Phasing of two wavesSignal 1Signal 2Website - AstronomyTimeBEAT AMPLITUDEThe BEAT or Fringe frequency depends on Earths rotation & antenna baseline20This is the signalthat gets recordedMHzWebsite - AstronomyCombined signal - omni directional antennasequally sensitivein all directionsbeat frequency signalposition / timeWebsite - Astronomy Radio Interferometry - enables detection of small sourcesSignals drift in and out of phase as the angle to the source line of sight from the baseline changes over time (Right Ascension)As q changes the signalsgo in and out of phase so thatsignal strength varies with angleand therefore timeResponse of single antennaResponse of two antennaeAngular resolutionExample of Interferometer fringesTimesidelobesidelobeWebsite - AstronomyWhy use an Interferometer ?Higher spatial resolution than a Total Power system using only one antenna Pick out small diameter sources against a general bright radio backgroundThe hardware is cheaper (small antennae spaced apart v single very large antenna)Interferometer more gain stable than a total power systemBut more processing is required to recover the source brightness pictureMost modern professional Radio Telescopes are InterferometersMy Amateur Radio Telescope Interferometer30m East West BaselineFrequency = 408MHzl= 0.735m & baseline =30mDq = 0.735/ 30 = 0.0245 radsor 1.4 degreesEarth rotation angular velocity= 150 / hr Fringe frequency = 1.4 /15 hrs = 5.6minsThis time is > signal averaging TCWebsite - AstronomyMy twin 15 element Quagi antenna 30m E-W InterferometerWebsite - AstronomyTwin Quagi Antenna responsesEach twin Yagi unit has a response shown belowAngle from antenna bore sight00+900-900Antenna outputCartesian Antenna responsePolar Antenna response14dB Gain & 170 BeamwidthWebsite - AstronomyMoving through interferometer beamsposition / timebeat frequency signalAntennapatternWebsite - AstronomyObservable discrete Point sources (northern hemisphere)VirgoVirgo ACass A 3C461 RA 23:23:21, DEC +58:49:59Cygnus A 3C405RA 19:59:28, DEC +40:44:00Taurus A 3C144 (crab)RA 05:34:30, DEC +22:00:57Virgo A 3C274 (M87)RA 12:30:48, DEC +12:22:59Website - AstronomyTaurus signal embedded in galaxy backgroundSystem DataWebsite - Astronomy30m separationTaurus ACrab NebulaNGC 19526,300LySignal fringesSNRAD 1054 Extracted Signal from Taurus A - The CrabWebsite - AstronomySource strength = 1200Jy1Jy = 10-26W/m2/HzSo we receive from the Crab about1.2x10-23W/m2/HzThis produces about 0.01mV in the antennaTransit was bang on scheduleThis fringe amplitude plotwas derived by cross - correlation of the signal on the previous graphwith the theoretical interferometerfringe frequencyPlot of Fringe amplitudeFringe frequency 1/ 5.6minsWebsite - AstronomyCross Correlation (are you like me ?)Calculated fringe signalperiod =5.6minSignal from Taurus A 16:00 01:00GMT 25/1/08Website - AstronomyLooking toward Galactic N PoleLooking toward centre of galactic planeVirgo A is a compact Radio SourceGood example of how an interferometer can distinguish compact from diffuse Radio sourcesM87 Virgo A NGC4486Giant Elliptical Galaxy withintense relativistic jet~ 60 million LY distantRadio Galaxy Virgo A M87Website - AstronomyVirgo A RadioSpectrumThis is close to the limit of whatcan be measured with my 2 antenna interferometerAnother view of theenergetic jet in M87Virgo AFlux =klx (x=spectral index)Website - AstronomyThis fringe visibility plot was derived by cross - correlation of the signal with the theoretical interferometer fringe frequencyVirgo A M87There are no more sources visible from the northern hemisphere at this levelPulsars are < 100Jy and would require a very costly 10m dia dishFringe AmplitudeWebsite - AstronomyEstimating the size of a radio sourceIf the source produces fringes then we know that its angulardiameter is less than l/b (l= wavelength, b = baseline)The longer the baseline the smaller the source diameter that can be measuredLarge distributed sources dont produce fringesWebsite - AstronomyExample of distributed & point sourcesWebsite - AstronomyComparison of strengths of point radio sourcesCygnus AWebsite - AstronomyAmateur capabilityPossible to detect point sources within the Milky Way - Taurus A Possible to detect other Galaxies - Virgo A (60MLy)Easily possible to detect powerful Radio Galaxies - Cygnus A 700MLyLimiting sensitivity ~ 100Jy or 10-24 W/m2/HzPulsar detection requires 100x increase in sensitivityThis would need a larger antenna arrayCygnus A Radio GalaxyWebsite - Astronomy Part 2 B Aperture SynthesisObtaining radio picturesBy using multiple antennas with variable baselines it is possible to synthesise the performance of a very large single dishRadio Telescopes use Aperture Synthesis to give Radio PicturesThe ultimate system is the Square Kilometre Array SKAPartly operational in 2015Fully on line in 2020This is subject of Part 2 BSKAWebsite -


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