Radioastron ready for interferometric observations!


 Photo source:biguniverse.ru

Continues at an estimated flight orbit Russian space observatory with Spektr-R radio telescope that performs research mission of the program Radioastron (LPI). Successfully tested in the ranges of most short wave radio — 6 and 1.35 cm in the end of October 2011 for the first time carried out astronomical observations, digitization, transmission, decoding and recording the signal in a fashion identical to the interferometer. The results of data processing carried out by the Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute, showed a successful outcome, confirming the readiness of outer shoulder Radioastron to the first interferometric testing. According to the plan, they must begin in the second half of November 2011

As part of the flight test program Radioastron, in October 2011, have been successfully scanned into vogue single antenna and receive responses on the radio emission of Cassiopeia A, the Moon and Jupiter, the Crab Nebula by the receivers ranges 6 and 1.35 cm guidance system and stabilize the telescope Spektr-R work reliably, allowing successful measurements at the required frequency bands. Tests space radio telescope at these wavelengths in order to obtain highly accurate calibration continues.

In the period 29 — 30 October were first conducted a surveillance of space objects, during which the transfer of the land of scientific and service information from the board conducted a wideband data link "Spektr-R satellite — tracking station and collecting Pushchino" (PRAM ASC LPI) . This scheme is almost identical to the circuit mode interferometer.

Observations were made of the maser radio source W3 (OH) in the lines of the hydroxyl OH molecules at a frequency of 1665 MHz and a line of water vapor H2O 22232 MHz, which corresponds to a range of 18 cm and 1.35 cm receiving system Radioastron. The observations made in the moments remove Spektr-R from the Earth to the 60 and 200 thousand kilometers, respectively. (The graphs show the spectra of the maser W3 (OH), obtained with the space radio telescope specialists Astro Space Center of Lebedev Physical Institute).

Employee ASC FIAN, Dr. Mikhail Popov commented on these events: "The object W3 (OH) is located in the Milky Way at a distance of two kiloparsec in the star forming region containing a massive protostar surrounded by a cloud of gas and dust. The radio emission of the object taken by our space radio telescope, were digitized on-board shaper and transferred via highly informative onboard radio (VIRK) through the high gain antenna on the tracking station in Pushchino, where the received signal has been decoded and put into a full-time registration system for scientific data Radioastron (RDR) . The recorded data were transferred via broadband Processing Centre of Scientific Information (TSONI) ASC LPI. Operational data analysis confirmed the presence of radio spectrum in the expected areas and expected amplitudes in the range of 18 cm, and in the range of 1.35 cm This experiment confirmed the full operability of outer shoulder ground-space interferometer period from time space telescope pointing to selected source to the transfer and processing of scientific data TSONI. "

October 30, 2011, 10:44 UTC
The spectral response of a receiver 1.35 cm orbiting space telescope project RadioAstron.


 Photo source:fian-inform.ru

Mather W3 (OH), the emission line of water vapor (H2O) for the component with the radial velocity of -50 km / s right (left graph) and the left (right-hand chart) circular polarization. Vertical axis: amplitude in relative units, the horizontal axis: frequency in MHz.

October 30, 2011, 08:35 UTC
The spectral response of the receiver 18 cm orbiting space telescope project RadioAstron.


 Photo source:fian-inform.ru

Mather W3 (OH), the emission line of the hydroxyl (OH), right (left graph) and the left (right-hand chart) circular polarization. Noticeable expected difference in the nature of the spectral components on the right and left polarization. Vertical axis: amplitude in relative units, the horizontal axis: frequency in MHz.

For the second half of November this year is scheduled to begin work on the circuit ground-space interferometer — search petals — getting the first correlation between the signals from space and ground-based radio telescopes.

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