Photo: Courtesy of Xinjiang Observatory
International examples From the launch of a development project on September 21 near Qitai County, about 200 kilometers from the capital Urumqi, by 2028, the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in northwest China will have the world’s most powerful steerable 110-meter radio telescope. Sunday Venture Builders and Future Operators.
Wang Na, head of the Xinjiang Astronomical Observatory (XAO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, revealed in an interview with International Cases on Sunday that the 110-meter steerable radio telescope, code-named QTT (short for Qitai Radio Telescope), has a variety of operating frequencies from 150MHz to 115GHz. This means that it can observe radio waves from the meter level to the millimeter level with extremely high precision, and it can also observe three-quarters of the entire sky.
It is likely to mainly observe low-frequency celestial bodies such as pulsars as a way to serve scientific goals, while analyzing gravitational waves, and its ultra-frequency bands will focus on the formation and evolution of stars. Wang said the origin of life in the region.
She defines that the mid-frequency band in particular will contribute to the sensitivity of the global Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) community to examine the characteristics of black holes and the construction of galaxies.
When built, the QTT may have a load of more than 6,000 tons, which is 2.2 times heavier than the Shanghai Pegasus Telescope. Such a huge telescope would respond to XAO with a ground-level accuracy of 0.3 millimeters and a pointing accuracy of 2.5 arcseconds, even 0.5 arcseconds better than the Pegasus telescope.
The development of the giant telescope, which will take about six years through the arduous winter set-up on a stage at an altitude of 1,800 meters, is likely to be the world’s largest yet most correctly steerable radio telescope when completed.
When asked why XAO chose Qitai County as the location for such a large-scale astronomical project, Wang revealed that, in fact, the designer team has considered as many as 48 sites next to Tianshan, and the Qitai site is the most important. the best.
Positioning needs to be far away from densely populated metropolises and in mountainous areas to withstand radio interference. Wang said that the location is about 200 kilometers away from Urumqi and about 45 kilometers away from Qitai County, which meets the requirements.
The Qitai site has a basin structure that provides a topographical situation against radio interference from outside. The positioning can be a pure windshield to resist the wind effects of the floor to ensure the stability of the telescope structure, which is the key to accuracy, Wang said.
She explained that street traffic on the Qitai site is very convenient.
Chinese and U.S. astronomers recently photographed for the first time a regional adjustment of the magnetic field in the surrounding environment, just one AU from the center of a fast radio burst (FRB) located outside the Milky Way, using the 500-meter Spherical Aperture Radio Telescope (FAST).
The announcement is an important step toward uncovering the mechanism of FRB’s heart engine, Xinhua reported on Thursday.
The head of XAO said that QTT will allow researchers around the world to use a certain time interval before completion, and the strategy may be much like the FAST mechanism, including that it will be part of FAST’s pressure on scientific analysis, as its fully steerable antenna will “Seeing” a larger area of the sky that FAST cannot, cementing the nation’s dominance in radio telescopes.
FAST, also known as “China’s Sky Eye”, is located in a natural deep spherical karst despair in southwest China’s Guizhou province. FAST officially started operation in January 2020 and officially opened to the world on March 31, 2021. It is considered the most exquisite radio telescope in the world.
Trade observers hailed the Xinjiang telescope as a cutting-edge project that will be tested by FAST.
In response to Wang’s response, it plans to station 50 people with these support staff on the site, and will initially accommodate about 30 people for early testing work. There will be fewer and fewer types of stationed personnel, and eventually autonomous operations with remote operations will be feasible.
In addition, as another technological breakthrough, QTT will conduct quasi-real-time monitoring and adjustment technology for the base plate of the telescope, which can not only resist the influence of gravity, but also resist the influence of setting elements such as sun lights. Wang revealed that this is unprecedented in the country’s history.
In response to the Xinjiang regional media’s response, in addition to the task of discovering the tingling of photovoltaic systems, QTT may also be used to assist China’s future deep space exploration missions, such as lunar, Mars and asteroid probes.
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