Dish repurposed in New Zealand

A 30m Telecom NZ satellite dish has been repurposed into New Zealand's largest radio telescope antenna.  Telecom handed the reins of the telescope over to Auckland University of Technology (AUT) last Friday the 19th of November.  

The 30m Telecom dish at Warkworth, NZ. Now a radio telescope operated by AUT.

Nestled among the green hills of Warkworth, AUT and Telecom NZ are working together to build one of the largest and most advanced research facilities in the country. Photo shows 12-m Patriot antenna (left) and the 30-m dish (right). Credit: Sergei Gulyaev and anzSKA.

The dish, located at Warkworth, north of Auckland, has previously been used for TV, phone calls and broadband.  It will now be used as a radio telescope in conjunction with AUT's 12m purpose-built antenna installed nearby last year by the Institute for Radio Astronomy and Space Research (IRASR).

After its conversion, the telescope will study star formation, the Milk Way's centre and the gaseous components of our galaxy.

Professor Sergei Gulyaev says the 30-metre dish will have a collecting area six times greater than its counterpart which will mean much greater sensitivity and resolution.

“This new radio telescope is very important in terms of New Zealand’s capability in the field of astronomy. Our collecting area and spectrum range will increase by almost an order of magnitude leading to greater sensitivity. It will also enable AUT to further develop its astronomical skills and techniques.”

Professor Gulyaev says other uses for the new facility include the study of galactic nuclei other than the Milky Way, quasars, mega-masers, and cosmic molecules including organic molecules that may be indicators of extraterrestrial life.

Read more about New Zealand's new 30m radio telescope from Telecom and anzSKA, and more about AUT's IRASR.

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Last updated
Monday, 22 November, 2010 11:42 AM
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