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Proceedings Paper

System performance testing of the DVA1 radio telescope
Author(s): Lewis B. G. Knee; Lynn A. Baker; Andrew D. Gray; Gary J. Hovey; Michael J. Kesteven; Gordon Lacy; Timothy Robishaw
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Paper Abstract

DVA1 (Dish Verification Antenna 1) is a highly innovative rim-supported single-piece composite-material dish radio telescope developed at the National Research Council Canada (NRC). It has a feed-high offset Gregorian optical design with a primary effective diameter of 15 m. DVA1 has been undergoing mechanical and astronomical system tests since 2014. Astronomical measurements were made in L band using a prototype front end developed for MeerKAT by EMSS Antennas (South Africa), including aperture efficiency, beam profiles, sensitivity, and tipping curves. The clean shaped optics, careful attention to feed design, and high sensitivity of the L band receiver (Trx ~ 6 K) yield a system with high aperture efficiency (~ 0.8), excellent sensitivity (~ 9 m2/K), and low spillover (~ 4 K). Observations of 21 cm atomic hydrogen lines towards standard sources demonstrate the low stray radiation pickup of the antenna. Ku band holography has measured the effective surface accuracy and stability of the dual-reflector antenna. The effective RMS of ~ 0.85 mm implies a Ruze efficiency of ~ 0.88 at 10 GHz and ~ 0.60 at 20 GHz. The surface is stable (~ 10% variation in surface RMS) over the limited range of environmental conditions tested. Testing continues for characterization of pointing, low frequency performance (< 1 GHz), and polarimetric performance. NRC is developing a successor antenna, DVA3, which will have a more accurate surface and be usable at frequencies at least up to Q band (30 – 50 GHz).

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 2016
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 9906, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI, 99063T (27 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232179
Show Author Affiliations
Lewis B. G. Knee, NRC-Dominion Astrophysical Observatory (Canada)
Lynn A. Baker, Cornell Univ. (United States)
Andrew D. Gray, NRC-Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (Canada)
Gary J. Hovey, NRC-Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (Canada)
Michael J. Kesteven, CSIRO Astronomy and Space Science (Australia)
Gordon Lacy, NRC-Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (Canada)
Timothy Robishaw, NRC-Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (Canada)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9906:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes VI
Helen J. Hall; Roberto Gilmozzi; Heather K. Marshall, Editor(s)

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