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Onsala receives funds for two new radio telescopes for geodetic VLBI

Submitter: Arnold van Ardenne
Description: After the establishment of the Swedish LOFAR station, Onsala proceeds with developments to perform 24/7 geodetic VLBI:
"Onsala Space Observatory will receive SEK 29.7 million to build two new radio telescopes. Together they will measure the Earth's movements more precisely than previously, using galaxies in the distant universe to determine the position of the telescopes. The measurements will then be used by scientists studying the interplay between the Earth's interior, its crust, atmosphere, oceans and climate.

"The two antennas, each 12 metres in diameter, will work together in a network of similar telescopes currently being built and planned all over the world," says Robert Cumming, astronomer and communication officer at Onsala Space Observatory. "By observing galaxies billions of light years away, the twin telescope and its siblings around the world will be able to determine their positions on the Earth - and in space - with ten times better precision than is possible today. The technology is known as geodetic VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry)."

Apart from VLBI and LOFAR related connections with ASTRON, Onsala is also involved in SKA-related developments e.g. with ASTRON in the area of wideband receiver and dish developments and calibration techniques.

Image montage showing what the twin telescope might look like on site at Onsala Space Observatory.
Image: Onsala Space Observatory/Västkustflyg. Antennas: NASA/GSFC/Elizabeth Zubritsky
Copyright: Chalmers
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