Ooty
Radio Telescope


Radio Astronomy Centre
Radio Astronomy CentreThe Radio Astronomy centre (RAC) is part of the National centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCAR) of the well known Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) which is funded by the Government of India through the Department of atomic energy . The RAC is situated near Udhagamandalam in the beautiful surroundings of the Nilgiri Hills Nd it provides stimulating Environment for the front-line research in radio astronomy and astrophysics with its excellent and highly qualified staff and international reputations.
What is Radio Astronomy
Radio astronomy is the study of the universe through radio waves reaching us from its many constituents such as the sun, planets, stars, galaxies, etc. This new branch of science was born 1932 when Karl Jansky discovered radio noise coming from our Milky Way Galaxy. Like light waves, radiowaves are also electromagnetic in nature, but have much longer wave lengths. Different celestial objects radiate in different, regions of the electromagnetic spectrum-such as X-ray,optical light, ultra-violet, infra-red rays and radio waves. Their emission mechanism depends upon the Radio Astronomy Centre.

The Radio Astronomy centre (RAC) is part of the National Centre of Radio Astrophysics (NCRA) of the well known Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) which is funded by the Government of India through the department of atomic Energy. The RAC is situated near Udhagamandalam in the beautiful surroundings of the Nilgiri Hills and it provides stimulating environment for the front-line research in radio astronomy and astrophysics with its excellent and high qualified staff and international reputations.
The Ooty Radio Telescope
Ooty  Radio TelescopeThe Ooty radio telescope (ORT), as it is known is cylindrical parabolic reflecting surface, 530m long and 30m wide,placed on a hill whose slope of about 11degree in the north-south direction is the same as the latitude of the RAC. This make if possible to track celestial object for about 10 hours from their rising in east to their setting in the west by simply rotating the antenna mechanically along its long axis. The antenna beam can be steered in the north-south direction by electronic phasing of the reflector. The reflecting surface is made up of 1100 thin stainless steel wires, each 530 m long 0.38 mm in diameter. It is supported by 24 parabolic frames separated by 23m from each other.

The telescope operates in a band of maximum bandwidth of 15MHz centered on a radio frequency of 327 MHz (a wavelength of 0.92 m) the large size of the telescope make it highly sensitive. As an example, it is in principle capable of detecting signals from a mere 1 watt radio station located ten million kilo meter away in space.

The Ooty radio telescope has been designed and fabricated fully indigenously. The ORT was completed in 1970 and continues to be one of the most sensitive radio telescopes in the world. Observations made using this telescope have led to important discoveries and to explain various phenomena occurring in our Solar system and in other celestial bodies.

Over the 30 years, for example, the ORT has produced many important astronomical results on radio galaxies, quasars, supernovae, pulsars, the interstellar and interplanetary media act. One of the most successful observational programs carried out for many years at Ooty was to determine the angular structure of hundreds of distance radio galaxies and quasars by the technique of lunar occultation . The application of this unique database to observational cosmology provided independent evidence against the Steady-State theory of Universe and supported the Big-Bang model of the universe. The telescope is currently being used mainly for the study the interplanetary scintillation observations provides valuable information about the solar, wind and solar-wind magnetic storms that affect the near - earth environment. Interplanetary scintillation observations also provide a valuable database to understand the space Weather changes and its predictability. the spaces and its predictability.
UP-Gradation of ORT
An array of 1056 half -wave dipoles in front of a 90 degrees corner reflection forms the primary feed of the telescope. The front-end receiver system of the ORT was upgraded with a low noise amplifier (Tamp = 50 K) and a strip line diode-switch controlled phase shifter following each of the1056 dipoles. This up-gradation improves the sensitivity of the ORT substantially. Additionally the declination-setting and monitoring system was computerized leading to the enhanced stability. A new local oscillator phase shifter with increased accuracy has improved the response of ORT over the entire 15 MHz band with and also increased the declination range visible to the ORT. The present system supports electronic steering to declinations between 60 and + 60 degrees. The telescope can be operated in either total power or correlation mode. In each mode, 12 beams are formed and beam 1 is the southern most beam and beam 12 is the northern most. These 12-beam system are useful in sky-survey type of observations.

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