AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 121. From Microns to Meters: Radio Wavelength Miscellany
Poster, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall AB

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[121.06] The Morehead State University 18 Meter Radio Telescope Project: Involving Undergraduates in Observational Astrophysics

B.K. Malphrus, M.S. Combs (Morehead State University), J. Kruth (K-MEC)

The Space Science Center at Morehead State University is in the process of developing a large aperture (18-21 meter) cm-wave radio telescope, the Morehead Radio Telescope (MRT). The telescope will be located in the mountainous region of Eastern Kentucky. The instrument will serve as a research instrument and active laboratory for undergraduate astronomy, physics, pre-engineering, and computer science students. The antenna system will be engaged in science programs (in astrophysics) and in satellite mission support services (telemetry, tracking, and control). The benefits to students are based upon a hands-on approach to learning concepts in astrophysics and engineering. Additionally, there are still research contributions that small aperture centimeter-wave instruments can make including long-term observations of microvariability in AGNs, observations of transient events, and surveys. The MRT will operate three receiver systems including an L-band receiver (1.4-1.7 GHz) covering the “water hole”, an S-band receiver (2.2-2.4 GHz) and a Ku-band receiver (11.2- 12.7 GHz) for continuum observations and satellite telemetry. The technical specifications for the instrument have been developed and an RFP has been issued inviting antenna vendors to submit proposals. The reflector will have a surface accuracy of 0.020 inches RMS over the entire surface, which will support relatively high frequency (Ku-band) observations. The antenna system will be full-motion and have a slew speed of 2°per second and an acceleration of 2°per second2. The HI and OH spatial distribution associated with cosmic phenomena will be investigated as well as dynamics and kinematics (particularly in HI) by observing over a range of frequencies (up to 2.5 MHz) with a 2048-channel back-end spectrometer, providing up to 1 KHz frequency resolution. The sensitivity and versatility of the telescope design will facilitate investigation of a wide variety of cosmic phenomena. The MRT is funded by assistance from the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the SBA.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://ssc.morehead-st.edu/. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: b.malphrus@morehead-st.edu

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