New advance in AUT’s 30-m Radio Telescope research capability in 2016

Success in data processing (correlation) shows technique mastered.

On 4 February 2016 a “Fringe Test” was undertaken between our 30-m radio telescope and the Hartebeesthoeck (South Africa) 26-m radio telescope.  A full cycle of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) was successfully conducted with the Warkworth 30-m radio telescope for the first time.  It included scheduling, observations, data transfer and data processing (correlation).

Both telescopes simultaneously observed an active galactic nucleus (AGN) known as radio source PKS0537-441.  Data from Africa was sent to Warkworth via the REANNZ network. Correlation of the data was performed for the very first time on AUT’s computer system by Stuart Weston, IRASR software engineer and PhD student after he spent time at the Max-Plank-Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn learning the technique.

The next step will include radio telescopes from Hobart and Ceduna (Australia) to iron out any outstanding issues.  This will allow us to undertake international scientific observing programs using the Warkworth 30-m dish for Astrophysics research and, importantly, streaming and processing the “big data” right here at AUT!

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