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seminar surveyer
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Joined: Sep 2010
16-10-2010, 10:31 AM

ABSTRACT In the astronomy world, there is a need for high-performance radio telescopes operating at low frequencies. Such a telescope can be realized by a large network of small dipole antennas spread over an area of about 360 square kilometers. This antenna configuration requires a multi-terabit optical network to transport and collect the massive amounts of data picked-up from the sky. Within the Retina project and implimentation, we have developed an architecture for such a multi-terabit optical network. In addition, new 160 Gbit/s line rate technology has been developed that can be used in such a network. THE LOFAR ANTENNA SYSTEM For observing events far away in the universe, extremely sensitive radio telescopes with very high resolution are needed. Such a high-performance telescope can be realized by deploying large numbers of antenna elements, spread out over a wide area. The innovative LOFAR (Low Frequency Array) antenna system
uses 13104 separate broadband dipole antennas, each of the order of a meter in size, and positioned in an area with a diameter of approximately 350 km .The radio signals captured by the individual antennas are digitized and transported to a central signal processor. Each antenna is omni-directional. By adjusting the delays of the digital signals from several antennas, and correlating them with the appropriate weight factors in the processor, a well-defined beam for observing the universe in a certain direction in real time can be formed. Since this combination is done digitally, it is well possible to copy the signals from each antenna and combine them also with a different set of weights. This way several independent station beams can be formed. By combining stations in the central processor, the directivity within each beam is further increased.

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