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Radio Astronomy at 55 MHZ

A medium size antenna array operating at 55 MHz is presently being used at the Buckland Park field site (40 km North of Adelaide) as part of an atmospheric wind profiling radar.

By running this radar in a purely receptive mode it effectively becomes a VHF radio telescope. This purpose of this project would be to test the feasibility of using this array for Radio Astronomy.

Sources to study might include the galactic centre, Jupiter and the Sun, aiming to detect any changes. It is also anticipated and hoped that these passive measurements could also be used to help calibrate the actual beam pattern of the entire array by observing astronomical radio sources as they move across the field of view of the array. Thus this project can explore the potential to monitor astrophysical sources.

Students will gain experience in radio interferometry techniques which underpin major astronomy programmes in Australia such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).

Tagged in Honours projects - Physics, Honours Projects - Andrew MacKinnon, Honours Projects - David Holdsworth, Honours Projects - Gavin Rowell, Honours in Physics subtheme - Space and atmospheric