By Ernst Raimond, René Genee
A small kingdom builds a world-class telescope in its yard and lives fortunately ever after (or at the very least for 1 / 4 century). that during a nutshell is the tale advised during this choice of essays. the rustic after all is the Netherlands, and the telescope is the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Tele scope (WSRT), brainchild of Jan Oort. residing fortunately during this context is a constant list of discovery and as such additionally a continuous foundation for se curing staring at time on amenities in different nations and working at different frequencies. As our group celebrates the Silver Anniversary of the radio tele scope at Westerbork, it's becoming that we pause to take account of the medical discoveries and insights it made attainable. firstly the device represented the very major step clear of university-run, professional amenities to a well-supported, common-user radio imager additionally having spec tral and polarization functions. It pioneered the mode of operation now universal for satellite tv for pc observatories, during which info is taken and calibrated via technicians and supplied to researchers prepared for research. it's been an important resource of discovery in, between different parts, study on impartial hy drogen and reviews of darkish topic in galaxies.
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Extra info for The Westerbork Observatory, Continuing Adventure in Radio Astronomy
This conservative approach certainly turned out to be extremely effective, especially in the early days of the operation of the WSRT. Obviously, less conservative methods to calibrate phase-changes res ulting from asymmetry were available some years later. In order to com pensate for the difference in path length of a celestial signal to the different telescopes varying as a function of the instantaneous position of the source in the sky, adjustable lengths of delay-cable had to be put in the signal-path.
Erferencefree. The receivers were uncooled parametric amplifiers like the 2l-crn ones but this time they were bought from industry rather than developed inhouse. The feed- system for these 6-crn receivers was sufficiently small that feeds for quasi-simultaneou s operation at a considerably longer wavelength (49 crn) could be built around them. The first intermediate frequency of the 6-cm receivers was chosen to be 612 MHz, equal to the observing frequency of the 49-cm receivers. Thus one could have two receive r systems packaged 36 ERNST RAIMOND in the saIne frontend box.
So the completion of a project may take several weeks. Acceptance of a project implies that the project will be completed properly: observations that fail because of instrumental or external problems will be repeated. Standard calibration is, in principle, carried out by staff of the NFRA. In the early days this was done in Leiden at the University computer, later in Dwingeloo. When self-calibration became a reliable technique, the scientists started doing much of it themselves. But even now, in 1995, the scientist still has the option to receive the data fully calibrated in the standard way.
The Westerbork Observatory, Continuing Adventure in Radio Astronomy by Ernst Raimond, René Genee