SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter diameter advanced radio telescope

SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter diameter advanced radio telescope

For radio astronomy

SPIDER 300A is an advanced 1420 MHz radio telescope designed to let schools, universities, scientific museums and other educational institutes make real radio astronomy! Designed with the same features of the big professional radio telescopes, SPIDER 300A is a complete, reliable and easy to use instrument.

This radio telescope is able to detect many different radio sources, not only in our Solar System. All the components of this radio telescope have all been designed to offer the best performance and long term use.

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The large 3 meter diameter parabolic antenna offers high gain, the special WP-100 altazimuth weatherproof mount with high load capacity allows for high precision tracking performance even in strong wind and inclement weather conditions, the H142One 1420 MHz receiver with the ability to record important neutral Hydrogen line radio emissions. Everything is remotely controlled by our RadioUniversePRO software that controls the radio telescope and records signals coming from space!



SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter diameter advanced radio telescope: specifications

  • Antenna diameter (m): 3
  • Antenna type: Prime focus
  • Working frequency: 1420 MHz
  • Bandwidth: 50 MHz
  • Feed: H-FEED, optimized for 1420 MHz
  • LNA: 2 high gain and stability 1420 MHz LNA units
  • Polarization: circular, left and right hand
  • Receiver: H142-One for 1420 MHz radio astronomy
  • Spectrometer: 1024 channels
  • Radiometer: 50 MHz instantaneous bandwidth
  • A/D converter: 14 bits
  • Mount: WP-100 computerized alt-azimuth
  • Pier: C106-HEAVY High load capacity pier for concrete base
  • Remote control: yes
  • Maximum slewing speed: 90°/min
  • Control software: RadioUniversePRO
  • Weatherproof: Yes


WEB300-5: the 3 meter prime focus parabolic antenna

In order to create a powerful but still compact, easy to handle radio telescope, we developed the WEB300-5 antenna that, thanks to 3 meters diameter and fine metallic mesh construction, provides a large collection surface with a low overall weight. Special rear supports maintain the rigidity of the whole parabolic antenna on the mount, avoiding any bending and ensuring the effectiveness of the pointing system. This also helps to maintain a perfect parabolic shape with a maximum error of less than lambda/20.


SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter diameter advanced radio telescope: WEB300-5 3 meter antenna


H-FEED: the 1420 MHz optimized feedhorn

Developed specifically for 1420 MHz Radio2Space radio telescopes, the H-FEED feedhorn is designed for optimal illumination of the primary reflector, allowing for high gain while minimizing side lobes and the spillover effect, thus obtaining the best possible performance from the 3 meter parabolic antenna. The feedhorn is designed to allow the reception of dual polarization with support for two professional Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA) for the 1420 MHz frequency. The feedhorn is positioned at the perfect point of focus of the antenna through a rigid structure with four supports to minimize obstruction, with a focusing device to precisely focus and maximize the performance of the entire radio telescope.


SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter diameter advanced radio telescope: H-FEED with dual 1420 MHz LNA units


WP-100: the alt-az weatherproof computerized mount

Radio astronomy can be performed during day or night time – even while cloudy, since the 1420 MHz radio waves are not blocked by clouds. For this reason, in order to capitalize on this opportunity we designed the WP-100 altazimuth mount, completely weatherproof, allowing you to leave the SPIDER 300A radio telescope permanently installed outside. Equipped with automatic tracking and goto system controlled by the radio telescope software, it allows you to frame and track your target with great precision. The WP-100 mount has a 100 Kg load capacity with very high precision pointing and tracking (encoders with a read resolution of 0,0015°). It can also be equipped with a special electronic security system (optional) which “parks” the antenna pointed at the Zenith (the vertical position) when the wind exceeds 50 Km/h, offering the lowest resistance to the wind where it is safely locked.


SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter diameter advanced radio telescope: WP-100 weatherproof alt-az mount


C106-HEAVY: the high load capacity pier

The WEB300-5 antenna, for its large diameter, can generate a lot of force on the ground – When combined with the weight of the WP-100 mount, a very stable and robust anchoring system is required. The C106-HEAVY pier offers all of these features, and is designed to keep the SPIDER 300A radio telescope permanently installed in the field. The SPIDER 300A and the C106-HEAVY pier are designed to be installed on a reinforced concrete base, fixed by means of special high strength bolts. Along with the installation and operation manuals for the radio telescope, an example of concrete base design (that the user has to prepare to install the SPIDER 300A and that he has to verify based on terrain type of the radio telescope installation location) is supplied.



H142-One: the 1420 MHz receiver for radioastronomy, radiometer and spectrometer

In order to get the best possible performance from the 3 meter diameter antenna of the SPIDER 300A, the H142-One receiver has been specially developed, a 1420 MHz superheterodyne type radiometer/spectrometer, double conversion (type UP/DOWN) with 50 MHz received instantaneous bandwidth (RF=1.395MHz-1.445MHz) and 14-bit analog to digital converter. The H142-One receiver has spectrometer with 1024 channels (each 61 KHz) that are displayed and processed in real time by the control software supplied with the radio telescope. Thanks to the high gain and the low electronic noise of this receiver, the SPIDER 300A radio telescope is able to record many radio sources throughout the universe, with a theoretical flow of at least 13 Jy. The H142-One receiver and the RCPU-100 remote control and power unit of the SPIDER 300A mount can be installed on a 19″ rack but they can also be placed on a table close to the control computer.


H142-One radio astronomy receiver with RCPU-100 for SPIDER 300A 3.0 meter advanced radio telescope


RadioUniversePRO: the control, data capture and processing software for radio astronomy

SPIDER 300A comes with RadioUniversePRO software that is specifically designed to allow you to check all the parameters of the telescope, as well as operate and record various results. RadioUniversePRO can be installed on a standard Windows computer and is compatible with Vista, 7, 8 and 10. The graphical interface provides a simple mode with integrated planetarium that shows in real time, the position of radio sources in the sky, and then allows you to simply point the SPIDER 300A radio telescope at those sources. RadioUniversePRO also offers the ability to activate an advanced interface which adds many additional options, customizations and typical functions of professional radio telescopes which are more useful for expert users (features found in RadioUniversePRO offering the same modus operandi of the larger-sized radio telescopes).


RadioUniversePRO software for radio astronomy and radio telescopes


SPIDER: the first Lunar Module to flight in space with astronauts

SPIDER radio telescopes are named in honor of the first LM (Lunar Module) to flight in space with astronauts (March 1969) during Apollo 9 mission. A view of the Apollo 9 Lunar Module (LM), “Spider”, in a lunar landing configuration, as photographed from the Command and Service Modules (CSM) on the fifth day of the Apollo 9 Earth-orbital mission. Credits: NASA.


SPIDER 300A advanced radio telescope: the first SPIDER to flight in space

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