| The image above was made during a meeting a few months ago between the Yunnan Observatory VLBI group (led by Prof. Wang Min, second from the left) and representatives of JIVE and Astron. In Kunming there is a new radio telescope that produced first fringes in 2009 (see AJPOD). The telescope has already participated in European VLBI Network observations and the goal is to make closer ties with the EVN. It will provide not only another long baselines, but additional intermediate baselines within China that is crucial for calibrating the array.
During the meeting a series of tests were discussed which would pave the way for this path. And the first results have already been realised: on the Shanghai and Kunming baseline fringes were detected at a data rate of 2 Gbit/s using Chinese digital backends. A small sample of these data were correlated at JIVE with the SFXC software correlator (see the fringes). It was our first time to correlate 32 MHz subbands at JIVE. The data rate of 2 Gbit/s is twice as high as the current operational maximum of 1 Gbit/s in the EVN. Soon these tests will include other EVN telescopes as well, allowing us to improve the great sensitivity of the array even further.