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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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description

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!

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

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

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

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, the complete concrete base designs are supplied, depending on the different types of soil in which you plan to install the SPIDER 300A radio telescope.

1420 MHz receiver

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.

RadioUniversePRO software

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).

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.

technical features

 

Antenna diameter (m) 3
Antenna type Prime focus
Working frequency 1420 MHz
Bandwidth 50 MHz
Feed Yes
LNA Yes
A/D converter 14 bits
Mount Computerized alt-azimuth
Remote control Yes
Maximum slewing speed 90° / min
Control software Yes
Weatherproof Yes

turnkey system

  • WEB300-5 3 meter parabolic antenna
  • WP-100 Alt-az weatherproof computerized mount
  • C106-HEAVY High load capacity pier
  • H-FEED 1420 MHz feed
  • 2 high gain and stability 1420 MHz LNA units
  • H142-One receiver, radiometer/spectrometer, 1420 MHz frequency
  • RadioUniversePRO control and processing software
  • User and Installation manual

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Cassiopeia A recorded with SPIDER 300A radio telescope

Cassiopeia A it’s an important object for radio astronomy, a supernova remnant located in Cassiopeia constellation with a flux of 2400 Jansky flux at 1420 MHz. Thanks to the large parabolic antennas, high sensitivity of the H142-One receiver and the advanced features of the RadioUniversePRO software, the SPIDER radio telescopes are able to detect Cassiopeia A. In this article we describe how we detected Cassiopeia A by using the 3 meter diameter SPIDER 300A advanced radio telescope: starting with antenna alignment, we detected interferences…

Taurus A recorded with SPIDER 300A radio telescope

Taurus A is the radio source in Taurus constellation that corresponds to the Crab Nebula (M1), the supernova remnant exploded on July 4, 1054 and noted by Chinese and Arabian astronomers of the time. Since then, the gas cloud has expanded and today is over 6 light years large. In this article we see how the SPIDER 300A radio telescope “discovered” it by capturing the radio waves emitted by Taurus A and converting them into a radio map, a real…

Experiments: solar radio emission with SPIDER radio telescope

Solar radio emission can be studied by using SPIDER radio telescopes. The Sun is in fact one of the most interesting radio source in the sky. In fact the Sun not only emits visible light but also other frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. For example, everyone can feel the Sun heat on our skin, expression of infrared radiation. In this article, with step-by-step guide, we see how the SPIDER radio telescopes detect radio waves coming from the Sun and we show…