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Radio2Space at Effelsberg radio telescope, 100 meters diameter

By | News & Events

Radio2Space team visited the Effelsberg radio telescope in Germany that, thanks to its 100 meters diameter parabolic antenna, it’s one of the largest fully steerable radio telescopes in the world! Operated by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, the Effelsberg radio telescope is situated in North Rhine-Westphalia. Today it’s now one of the most advanced radio telescopes worldwide.

 

 

Dr. Norbert Junkes (Press and Public Outreach, Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie) showed us the radio telescope in detail bringing us with a lift at 50 meters from the ground, just under the big antenna. Since the Effelsberg radio telescope operates from 350 MHz up to 86 GHz, the antenna has been designed to keep a very precise parabolic shape also with the deformation of the antenna due to gravity when it’s rotated in different directions.

 

Filippo Bradaschia (Radio2Space general manager) just under the 100 meters antenna

Filippo Bradaschia (Radio2Space general manager) just under the 100 meters antenna

 

At a lower level, 4 huge motors are in charge to move the elevation axis. The Effelsberg radio telescope is fully steering and this means that the 100 meters antenna can be moved 360 degrees in azimuth and 90 degrees in elevation, allowing the radio telescope to be pointed in any direction and down to the horizon. The azimuth movement is performed by rotating the entire structure (the time for a rotation of 360◦ is 15 minutes) that weights 3200 tons!

 

Omar Cauz (Radio2Space head designer) with the elevation axis motors

Omar Cauz (Radio2Space head designer) with the elevation axis motors

 

In front of the Effelsberg radio telescope there is the institute with the control room directly facing the antenna. From here researches control the radio telescope, with 8 screens in the main control room that allow them to have in real time all the scientific data. We were happy to see that, also if this is state of the art professional radio astronomy software, our RadioUniversePRO for SPIDER radio telescopes has some features in common!

 

The control room in front of the radio telescope

The control room in front of the radio telescope

 

Before visiting the Effelsberg radio telescope, we tried to imagine its incredible size, comparing it with other radio telescopes we had already visited. But now, by having a first person view of it, we’re even more impressed by the dimensions and the precision of this amazing radio astronomy instrument that is operational by 50 years but that looks like new. Thank you to the Effelsberg radio telescope team to let us visit this incredible instrument.

 

View of the entire radio telescope

View of the entire radio telescope

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah

By | News & Events

Radio2Space team completed the installation of a new SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences, close to Dubai in the United Arabic Emirates and now it’s time for the first light. SPIDER 500A is a 5 meter radio telescope that, thanks to the large antenna and the specifically designed radio astronomy receiver, offers a very high sensitivity. We decided to capture data from Orion A, the Orion Nebula (M42) that emits also radio waves at the 1420 MHz frequency (flux 490 Jy) recorded by the radio telescope.

 

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: the SPIDER 500A radio telescope used to map Orion A.

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: the SPIDER 500A radio telescope used to map Orion A.

 

Orion A (also known in astronomy as M42) is 1,500 light years from Earth and it shines because it is heated by ultraviolet radiation from young stars called ‘Trapezium’ at the center of the nebula itself. These stars heat the surrounding gas generating radio waves. In the picture below, Unicorn and Orion constellations recorded by the 25 meter diameter radio telescope in Stockert, Germany (From the book: Radioastronomy, introduction to invisible sky. Courtesy: Patricia Reich and Wolfgang Reich , Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie).

 

Unicorn and Orion constellations recorded by the 25 meter diameter radio telescope in Stockert, Germany (From the book: Radioastronomy, introduction to invisible sky. Courtesy: Patricia Reich and Wolfgang Reich , Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie).

Unicorn and Orion constellations recorded by the 25 meter diameter radio telescope in Stockert, Germany (From the book: Radioastronomy, introduction to invisible sky. Courtesy: Patricia Reich and Wolfgang Reich , Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie).

 

The SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences is controlled from a control room near the radio telescope. Here the H142-One receiver is installed, together with the antenna control and power unit, and everything is connected to a computer running the RadioUniversePRO software to control the radio telescope, capture and process data. In the early afternoon, Radio2Space team together with Professor Ilias Fernini (SCASS Professor of Physics and Astronomy) and Issam S. Abujami (SCASS IT & System Specialist) aligned the radio telescope to the sky and pointed Orion A.

 

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: in the control room during acquisition. On the left, H142-One receiver with data and power unit for SPIDER 500A.

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: in the control room during acquisition. On the left, H142-One receiver with data and power unit for SPIDER 500A.

 

RadioUniversePRO software allows to precisely define all the parameters requested for an automated radiomap acquisition like the map dimension in degrees, the resolution and the integration time for every pixel. For this first light it was chosen to record a 5×5° map with 0,7° resolution and 30 seconds integration for every pixel. After around 1.5 hours, the radio map appeared on the screen, highlighting Orion A with the peak of emission of the Orion Nebula at 1420 MHz. By using the proper feature of RadioUniversePRO we also selected to create the contour level lines that have been overlayered to the map that you can see in the picture below.

 

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: the 5x5 degrees map of Orion A recorded by the SPIDER 500A radio telescope.

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: the 5×5 degrees map of Orion A recorded by the SPIDER 500A radio telescope.

 

This Orion A map is a great result for the SPIDER 500A radio telescope installed in Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences and it confirms the high sensitivity of the entire system that allows everyone to make real radio astronomy with a complete and easy to use radio telescope. Radio2Space team with Professor Ilias Fernini and Issam S. Abujami decided to take a group picture, with the result of this great first light!

 

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: Filippo Bradaschia (left) with Professor Ilias Fernini (center) and Issam S. Abujami (right) after the first light acquisition.

Orion A mapped with the SPIDER 500A radio telescope in Sharjah: Filippo Bradaschia (left) with Professor Ilias Fernini (center) and Issam S. Abujami (right) after the first light acquisition.

SpaceCom 2018: Radio2Space booth

Radio2Space at SpaceCom 2018 event in Houston USA

By | News & Events

Radio2Space is very proud to be at the SpaceCom 2018 in Houston, the two-day event where NASA, aerospace, and industry come together to connect space technologies to business innovation! The event includes forward-looking conference sessions, a packed exhibit hall showcasing cutting-edge technology, and an Entrepreneur Summit that promises to transform markets.

Radio2Space is in the Italian Trade Agency booth, with our Radio2Space radio telescopes for radio astronomy and satellite communication. Here we show our H142-One radio astronomy receiver connected to a computer running our RadioUniversePRO control and processing software for SPIDER radio telescopes. We’re also talking about how we are able to prepare custom solutions in order to use our radio telescopes for satellite communication applications.

 

 

SpaceCom 2018: Radio2Space booth

SpaceCom 2018: Radio2Space booth

 

At the entrance of the event.

At the entrance of the event.

 

SpaceCom 2018: NASA booth

SpaceCom 2018: NASA booth

 

SpaceCom 2018: talking about our radio telescopes for satellite communications

SpaceCom 2018: talking about our radio telescopes for satellite communications

 

During a special event in SpaceCom 2018, Filippo Bradaschia presented Radio2Space radio telescopes and showed how space agencies and institutes are now able to own and operate their own ground station by using the SPIDER radio telescopes. He focused on the possibilities now offered from these affordable radio telescopes and the advantages of using compact instruments in many applications. Filippo also introduced the developments Radio2Space is creating for these instruments, referring in particular to the interferometry capabilities of the radio telescopes.

 

SpaceCom 2018: Filippo Bradaschia showing the radio telescopes applications

SpaceCom 2018: Filippo Bradaschia showing the radio telescopes applications

 

Filippo Bradaschia, Radio2Space CEO and co-founder

Filippo Bradaschia, Radio2Space CEO and co-founder

 

The event has been a great success and we’re very happy to be part of it and show our innovative radio telescopes. And of course, just after the event, we had the opportunity to visit the NASA Space Center in Houston, what a great week end!