The development of a transit radio telescope at the hydrogen line frequency
MetadataShow full item record
The development of a transit radio telescope at the hydrogen line frequency of 1420 MHz is described. The telescope antenna uses a 5 m diameter parabolic reflector with an estimated efficiency of 50 % and an F/D ratio of 0.5. The gain of the antenna at 1420 MHz (wavelength of 21.1 cm) is approximately 35 dB with a beamwidth of approximately 3°. The antenna is mounted on a concrete beam at the first floor level, running between two 5 floor tower blocks on the Steve Biko campus of the Durban University of Technology. The majority of the components of the radio telescope antenna and receiver were designed and manufactured at the Durban University of Technology by students of the Departments of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering. The measured sensitivity of the receiver is approximately -94 dBm with a bandwidth of approximately 80 MHz. Radio sources successfully detected by the radio telescope include the Sun, the Moon, Sagittarius A, Centaurus A and Vela X.