SPIDER 300A radio telescope for radio astronomy installed near Prague in Czech Republic
SPIDER 300A is the 3 meter diameter radio telescope that provides an affordable and compact solution for radio astronomy education and outreach! In this article we show the entire installation that we completed near Prague in Czech Republic on the behalf of a private user. In fact the SPIDER radio telescopes are turn-key and ready to use instruments for radio astronomy so they can be used not only by schools, universities or research institutes but also by users that want to discover the fascinating world of radio astronomy!
The SPIDER 300A is a 3 meter diameter radio telescope is easy to install: we pre-assemble it in our factory in Italy and we ship it all over the World, so you can install it by following the installation manual. But the user can also request our Installation Service as he did for this SPIDER 300A radio telescope we installed installed near Prague in Czech Republic. The radio telescope crates have been shipped to the installation location and, when our Installation Team arrived to the selected place, they’ve been immediately able to start the installation process.
After the installation of cables in the underground conduit connecting the radio telescope antenna to the control room, the antenna tracking system (mount + pier) is installed on the concrete base that insures stability of the radio telescope (that is installed outside and that doesn’t need for a protection against water). Then our Installation Team installed the antenna on top of the mount and fixed it by using the properly made supports that provide resistance also in windy situations. Since the control room is set more than 50 meters away from the antenna, the optional radio over fiber kit has been added to prevent the normal signal loss that happens with standard coaxial cables.
The SPIDER 300A is remotely controlled from a control room where we installed, in a properly prepared 19″ rack, the H142-One radio astronomy receiver and backend, together with the RCPU-100 control electronics and power units for the SPIDER 300A radio telescope, the RoF-SPIDER radio over fiber kit for SPIDER radio telescope and the CMP-19 control computer. Here we also installed RadioUniversePRO radio astronomy software that is our radio astronomy control and capture software we specially designed for SPIDER radio telescopes.
With the outside antenna ready to be used and the control electronics installed in the control room, we turned on for the first time the SPIDER 300A radio telescope we installed near Prague in Czech Republic. First of all we aligned the antenna to radio sources in the sky, this way making sure that the automatic pointing and tracking system of the radio telescope worked as expected. Then we pointed different radio sources in the sky and we made a Training Session with the customer in order to show how the SPIDER 300A radio telescope works and how to capture different results by using RadioUniversePRO software. SPIDER 300A radio telescope is now ready to be used as a wonderful educational instrument to discover radio astronomy!