Since the 1930’s, radioastronomy has given us a new way to explore the universe and Australia has played a major role in the development of this science. Over the decades, increasingly powerful radiotelescopes have led to amazing scientific discoveries as well as practical technology spinoffs. Now Australia is part of an international project to develop a next generation telescope, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), which has been be built jointly in Australia and South Africa.
Intended to provide two orders of magnitude increase in sensitivity and resolution compared to existing instruments, and composed of thousands of receiving units distributed over vast geographic areas, the SKA presents significant technical challenges in radio engineering, computing and logistics. Due to its extraordinary sensitivity and wide frequency range, it is vulnerable to radio frequency interference from radio transmitters and from electrical equipment, including that installed as part of the telescope itself.
This webinar will provide a short history of radioastronomy and the science goals of the SKA, discuss the technical challenges of protection from interference and the challenges of maintaining a large radio quiet site, and summarise the potential benefits to Australia from the project.
Speaker: Carol Wilson, CSIRO
Carol Wilson studied Electrical Engineering at Virginia Tech in the USA, specialising in radio propagation and attaining a Masters of Science degree. Since 1990 she has worked at CSIRO on a range of radio system projects. In 2007, Carol joined the group developing the Australian proposal for the SKA telescope and is responsible for technical issues in maintaining the radio quietness of the WA astronomy site. For the international SKA project, Carol developed methods for defining buffer zones around transport and population centres and for predicting interference at specific telescope locations.
Carol is Chairman of Study Group 3 on radiowave propagation within the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector. Carol has represented Australia at ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences which develop international agreements on the use of radiofrequency spectrum and is active in ITU-R Study Group 7 on radioastronomy spectrum requirements.
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- EMC Member: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
- Student Member Rate: $0.00 ($0.00 excl. GST)
- Non-Member Rate: $30.00 ($27.27 excl. GST)
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