AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 151 Instruments for Small College Observatories
Poster, Thursday, January 13, 2005, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[151.04] The Morehead State University 21 M Space Tracking Antenna and Radio Telescope: an Instrument for Undergraduate Research

B.K. Malphrus (Morehead State University)

The Space Science Center at Morehead State University has developed a full motion 21-meter class radio telescope which is engaged in a rigorous research program in radio astronomy and also serves as a ground station with the capability to track low earth orbiting (LEO) satellites and as a test-bed for advanced RF systems. The new instrument achieved “First Light” in December 2004 and provides a unique educational tool that will serve as an active laboratory for students to have hands-on learning experiences with the intricacies of satellite telecommunications and radio astronomy. The instrument provides a state-of-the art laboratory for researchers and students in astrophysics, satellite telecommunications, engineering (including electrical, mechanical, and computer architecture), and software development. The 21 m telescope has achieved excellent sensitivity and spatial resolution and supports operations over a number of frequency regimes including: L-Band, S-Band, X-Band, Ku-Band, and ultimately Ka-Band. The gain of the large 21 meter antenna combined with a variety of state-of-the-art receivers and back-end electronics together provide a powerful telescope for teaching and research in radio frequency astrophysics. The 21 m telescope operates primarily in the radio regime at a central frequency of 1420 MHz (HI line) and ultimately at higher frequencies that will incorporate transition lines of hydroxyl, ammonia, and water. The sensitivity and versatility of the telescope design facilitate the investigation of a wide variety of astrophysically interesting phenomena. These objects include galactic sources such as supernova remnants, emission nebula, planetary nebula, extended HI emission from the Milky Way, and the sun. Extragalactic sources such as quasars, radio galaxies, and supernova remnants (SNRs) will also be observed. A long-term AGN monitoring campaign will be undertaken, beginning in 2005. Funding for the 21m telescope has been provided by NASA, the SBA, the Kentucky Science and Engineering Foundation and Kentucky NSF EPSCoR.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://ssc.moreheadstate.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@moreheadstate.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.