A Haystack SRT

A Haystack SRT

The small radio telescope (SRT) is an undergraduate teaching telescope in Angell Hall. It was developed at the Haystack Observatory and commissioned in 2001. It is capable of continuum and spectral line observations in the L-band (1.42 GHz). The SRT is a standard 7-foot (2.1-meter) diameter satellite television dish mounted on top of a fully motorized Az-El mount. This unique mounting arrangement allows the observer to perform total power measurements and contour mapping. Software has been provided for controlling the antenna and selection of sources. Data reduction can be performed using existing radio astronomy software packages or done as a student exercise.

The diameter of the SRT results in a beam width of roughly 5 degrees. The receiver is sufficiently good to detect several strong sources. For example, it is capable of measuring the Galactic hydrogen emission, even on a single scan, and has derived galactic rotation curves based on 5-minute integrations at 10 points along the galactic plane. The frequency resolution of the line receiver is 40 KHz (=> 8 Km/sec).