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Initial progress toward planar integrate, low-cost water vapour radiometers
Author(s): Tinus Stander; William Cerfonteyn; Roger Deane; Dirk de Villiers; Khadija El Bouchefry; Daniel Ferrusca; Stan Kurtz; Gordon MacLeod; Shaunel Walker
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Paper Abstract

Astronomical, astrometric and geodetic observations by mm-Wave Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) are adversely affected by precipitable water vapour (PWV) in the troposphere. Current water vapour radiometers (WVRs), such as that deployed at the Large Millimeter Telescope (LMT) site, are difficult to install and maintain, and are prohibitively expensive for surveying promising new sites for telescopes or for wide-spread deployment for a priori calibration. We report here on initial progress towards a Planar Integrated Low-Cost H2O Atmospheric Radiometric Detector (PILCHARD), which aims to reduce the cost of 22 GHz WVRs for site surveys, whilst eliminating the need for moving antennas. It is found that the required tip curve can be generated by a static antenna using multiple pencil beams from a multi-feed, non-traditional offset reflector, while the necessary system receiver temperature is easily achievable using planar integrated off-the-shelf components alone.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 2019
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 11043, Fifth Conference on Sensors, MEMS, and Electro-Optic Systems, 110430T (24 January 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2501944
Show Author Affiliations
Tinus Stander, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
William Cerfonteyn, Stellenbosch Univ. (South Africa)
Roger Deane, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
Dirk de Villiers, Stellenbosch Univ. (South Africa)
Khadija El Bouchefry, Hartbeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (South Africa)
Daniel Ferrusca, Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electrónica (Mexico)
Stan Kurtz, Univ. Nacional Autónoma de México (Mexico)
Gordon MacLeod, Hartbeeshoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (South Africa)
Shaunel Walker, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
Tshwane Univ. of Technology (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11043:
Fifth Conference on Sensors, MEMS, and Electro-Optic Systems
Monuko du Plessis, Editor(s)

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