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GMRT joins the team SKA


Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (GMRT), located near Pune in India, is an array of radio telescopes at metre wavelengths. It is operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, a part of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai. At the time it was built, it was the world’s largest interferometric array.
The Giant MeterWave Radio Telescope operated by the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics will contribute with other antennas around the world, to carry forward the ambitious project for the construction of the Square Kilometer Array.

One of the GMRT antennas in India

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Credit: The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR)

Army of antennas that work with the Square Kilometer Array is added those of the Giant Meter wave Radio Telescope (GMRT), India. It is a few months the news that the National Centre for Radio Astrophysics will play a central role in the construction of what will be the largest network of radio telescopes in the world. It will start to do it right with GMRT as pathfinder project. The antennas Indian, as do those of Nenufar telescope, the LOFAR, the VLA and other, will allow researchers to begin to make progress towards the numerous and ambitious goals that you are in charge with the SKA project.
What is the pathfinder? These systems, array telescopes existing in different parts of the world that have been involved in the project for science and technology studies, they obtain feedback especially useful at this stage that it is still processing and construction.
The antennas of the Indian GMRT are important in the field of radio astronomy at low frequencies and operating for a decade: it is fully movable bodies 30 to 45 meters in diameter each, and which together provide a collection area of 30,000 m2 well, covering a frequency range from 150 MHz to 1.5 GHz. Yashwant Gupta, the GMRT Observatory, said: “It is an important recognition for us and for GMRT and this will bring a boost to India in the SKA project. We look forward to contributing both technological and scientific. ”

Panoramic view of the GMRT in India

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Credit: The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics (NCRA-TIFR)

To SKA is a very ambitious project: the large area of collection of SKA (1 km square), the very high sensitivity of the receivers and the amazing ability of super computers (the central computer will have the power of hundreds of millions of home PCs) allow you to take home amazing results. For example, the antennas in the average frequency that will be produced in Phase 1 will be able to pick up radio sources similar to those emitted by the most powerful ground radar (those ballistic or those air monitoring).
In addition to several pathfinders, SKA also has three precursor telescopes (i.e. that they’ll actually take part of the network): the meerkat, the ASKAP and MWA. Located in Australia and South Africa, these radio telescopes (disks and dipole antennas) in ten years will allow the researchers to have 1 square kilometer of collecting area, a large field of view and an extension of a few thousand miles on the ground. The three precursors are already bringing home several very important scientific results, helping technicians and engineers to test new technologies that will join in the future, but it will be the crucial help of pathfinder telescopes around the world.

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