AAS 197, January 2001
Session 87. Innovations in Teaching Astronomy II
Joint Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[87.27] A Small Radio Telescope for Education

M. L. Cobb (Southeast Missouri State University), P. Pratap, A. E. E. Rogers (MIT Haystack Observatory)

MIT Haystack Observatory, with support from the National Science Foundation, has designed a small radio telescope which is operable in the 1.4 GHz frequency band. The telescope consists of a 7 ft antenna with a two axis drive. The receiver has a spectral scanning capability which allows observations of the HI line at 21 cm.

During the past year, Haystack has distributed 20 beta-version units of the SRT to various colleges and universities, research institutions and student groups. Feedback and evaluation of the SRT will be obtained from these units. To satisfy further demand for the SRT, the telescope will now be available commercially through Custom Astronomical Support Services, Inc. (CASSI). This paper will describe the process for ordering a SRT kit as well as the details of the system. The kit will contain the antenna, mount, receiver, ground control unit and pre-amp, Detailed instructions for the installation and calibration of the kit are available on the Haystack web site at http://www.haystack.mit.edu.

The Haystack Observatory web site also contains information about projects that can be performed on the SRT. It also contains a section on using the SRT in a pre-college setting. These materials will be updated on a regular basis.

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