The SRT was successful in the European EVN test
New and important test for the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT), recently inaugurated and currently under scientific validation.
After only three weeks from the first positive test of interferometric observation (performed in late January with the Medicina Radiotelescope), the SRT was successful in the entrance test into the EVN 1 (European VLBI Network).
On 20th February, the SRT carried out its first joint observation, at a wavelength of 18 cm, simultaneously with the telescopes of Effelsberg (Germany), Medicina and Noto (Italy), Jodrell Bank (UK) and Westerbork (the Netherlands).
[a) Fringes of intereference concerning the Effelsberg antenna, in Germany. b) Values of the baseline amplitude relative to the observation frequency. Polarizations are indicated with different colors:
RR = red, LL = blue, RL = cyan, LR = green. For a complete technical report, see http://www.evlbi.org/tog/ftp_fringes/ftp.html, clicking on the experiment F14L1.]
And the results, obtained by the Data Processing Center at JIVE (Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe) in the Netherlands and reported in the figure above, are really exciting.
At the first attempt, the SRT was able to produce the so-called "fringes of interference" in all the recorded frequency bands and in polarization, indicating proper operation of the joint observation mode.
Great is the enthusiasm of the Italian VLBI team: "It is an excellent result, due to the hard work of many people from the Cagliari and Bologna research facilities of the National Institute for Astrophysics" say Carlo Migoni, INAF – Cagliari Astronomical Observatory, and Giuseppe Maccaferri, INAF - Bologna Institute for Radio Astronomy.
"We have a really good team" adds Professor Nichi D'Amico, Director of the SRT project, "smart young people who, despite difficulties and precarious work, for years have been devoting themselves night and day to the success of this antenna".
Now we just have to wait for new exciting successes. Good luck, SRT!
1. The EVN is the organization that coordinates the cooperation between the major radio astronomical instruments of Europe, Asia and Africa to conduct simultaneous observations of cosmic radio sources, using a technique called VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry).