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Small Radio Telescope

The small radio telescope (SRT) is a teaching telescope at Angell Hall. It was developed at the Haystack Observatory and comissioned in 2001. It is capable of continuum and spectral line observations in the L-band (1.42 GHz).

The SRT is a standard 7-foot (2.1-meter) diameter satellite television dish mounted on top of a fully motorized Az-El mount. This unique mounting arrangement allows the observer to perform total power measurements and contour mapping. Software has been provided for controlling the antenna and selection of sources. Data reduction can be performed using existing radio astronomy software packages or left as an exercise for the student.

The diameter of the SRT results in a beam width of roughly 5 degrees. The receiver is sufficiently good to detect several strong sources. For example, it can measure galactic hydrogen emission, even on a single scan. The galactic rotation curves were based upon 5-minute integrations at 10 points along the galactic plane. The frequency resolution of the line receiver is 40 KHz (=> 8 Km/sec).