Glasgow University Observatory: Small Radio Telescope

SRT home

News

The SRT is currently: very well

Passwords will be given to you. Reminders available from your lab head.

Filter: A front-end filter has been inserted to reject interference (causing severe intermodulation). System temperature has therefore gone up to about 350K.

Stow position if windy: If it looks like bad weather, slew the SRT to (az,el) (180, 0), rather than the nowmal stow position. This should prevent the dish being pulled off the half-gear in high winds.

 

Introduction

The Glasgow Small Radio Telescope is a teaching telescope situated at our Acre Road Observatory site on the outskirts of Glasgow. The telescope is based on a design by the MIT Haystack Observatory and is supplied by CASSI.

Note that our telescope has a digital receiver, a 3m dish on an H180 mount and uses an electronic noise calibrator. This is important when reading the manual.

Installing emulation software

The SRT software can to used to both control and to emulate the SRT. It is written in Java, but a Windows execultable file is also available. The emulator is particularly useful as it lets you try out the script control files you may need to write well before uploading them to the SRT machine. Emulation sofware is installed on the Observatory cluster machines, but you may want to install it on you own computer. To do this we recommend the following:

  1. Download this install file and run it. Obey the instructions, but when it asks which directory to install to, say C:\SRT rather than the default (C:\Program Files\SRT) . Also choose to install just a desktop icon.
  2. Copy the configuration file srt.cat to the same directory (C:\SRT)
  3. Click on the desktop icon to start. To speed up the apparent flow of time you can edit the srt.cat file and change the number after SIMULATE ANTENNA on the second line (and restart the application).

Writing script files

A description of how to do this can be found in the manual and here and here. Take great care with the syntax (it is very unforgiving) and test the scripts out in emulation mode before you use them. In particular note that we have an electronic noise calibrator, so the calibration command is noisecal, and not calibrate! Remember to note your observing program in the SRT calendar, so others don't try to use it at the same time.

Analysing data

This is best done in MATLAB using the srt file reader readsrt.m . Copy this file into your working directory, start matlab and type "help readsrt" at the command line to see what it does.

Remote control

You can control the SRT from anywhere on campus with, using a web browser and this link (which is also at the top of the page). You will need the username and password too. Ask your lab head for this.

 

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