http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.87Change: 0.01
R/$ = 13.30Change: 0.00
Au 1133.54 $/ozChange: -1.31
Pt 1018.00 $/ozChange: -2.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Apr 16, 2010

Two space telescope projects of interest to South Africa

Back
Engineering|Africa|Design|Exploration|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|Energy
Engineering|Africa|Design|Exploration|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|Energy
engineering|africa-company|design|exploration|project|projects|africa|energy
© Reuse this



South Africa is willing to cooperate with both Russia and Japan on satellite-based very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) radio astronomy projects, known as space VLBI. Both projects involve the launching of space-based radio telescopes, designated Radioastron and VSOP-2.

Interferometry involves using two or more radio telescope dishes to look at the same object in the sky. The signals received by each dish are fed into a computer and because the dishes are not in exactly the same place (even if they they are only a few tens of metres apart) the distance travelled by the signals to each is not identical and combining them creates an interference pattern that can be analysed by computer to provide high-resolution images of celestial objects.

In the case of VLBI, however, the dishes are very far apart - often on different continents, because the longer the baseline, the higher the resolution of the images that can be obtained. And space VLBI extends the baseline even further than is possible on Earth by adding a spacecraft.

South Africa would provide part of the terrestrial component of the baseline, helping extend it to the maximum. The South African radio telescope that would be involved would be the 26 m dish at the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory, west of Pretoria, which has lots of experience in VLBI work. The seven dish MeerKAT Precursor Array telescope in the Karoo is currently still functioning as an engineering test bed and not as an operational radio telescope, but it could get involved in the long term.

Radioastron is a project led by the Russian space agency Roscosmos, while VSOP-2 (which is also called Astro-G) is led by the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency.

In the case of Russia, the Radioastron spacecraft will deploy a 10 m diameter radio telescope dish. Radioastron was first announced in 2005 with a target launch date of 2007, but the project has suffered from delays and its is now hoped to launch it in June this year. The spacecraft is reportedly currently undergoing final assembly and tests by its manufacturer, Lavochkin, and is based on this company's Spektr-R satellite design. The intention is to launch it on a Zenit-2 rocket with a Fregat-SB booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

VSOP-2 stands for VLBI Space Observatory Programme-2 and the Japanese spacecraft will deploy a 9 m dish. It too, has suffered delays, originally being aimed at a launch this year or early next. However, it is now scheduled for launch in 2013. It is expected to be launched on a Japanese H2A rocket, probably from the country's Tanegashima Space Centre, located on a small island to the south of Kyushu (the southernmost of Japan's four main islands). The H2A is Japan's main large-scale launch vehicle. The VSOP-2 project follows a successful previous Japanese space VLBI mission, VSOP.

Radioastron is aimed at studying active galactic nucleii, the structure of star-mass black holes, neutron and possible quark stars in the Milky Way, the structure and distribution of interplanetary and interstellar matter, the structure and dynamics of star-forming regions (using maser and megamaser spectral line emission), and parameters of the currently-accepted model of the cosmos, including dark energy and dark matter.

Quark stars are currently theoretical concepts. Quarks are elementary particles which make up protons, neutrons and mesons, and quark stars would be composed only of these quarks (which come in six types). Maser is an acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation, and is a high frequency microwave amplifier.

Dark matter is believed to make up most of the matter in our universe and is so named because it neither emits or reflects light, making it invisible, although the influence of gravity from dark matter is detectable. While conventional matter makes up a mere 4,6% of the universe, and dark matter 23%, the even more mysterious dark energy is believed to account for 72% of our universe. Dark energy may be the force driving the observed expansion of the universe.


Highlights

SA would maximise baseline for two international space telescope projects

Radioastron should be launched this year, VSOP-2 in 2013

 

 

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
Training company The Intelligence Transfer Centre will host the fourth yearly Environmental Crimes Conference at the Indaba Hotel, in Fourways, Johannesburg between September 9 and 10. Confirmed key regulatory bodies that will attend the event include the Department...
The government of Egypt has said it is ready to provide technical assistance to Malawi in the development of the Shire–Zambezi waterway, which is designed to link landlocked Malawi to the Indian Ocean by opening the two rivers for navigation. Egyptian ambassador to...
Kenya is finally set to start building a new multipurpose petroleum pipeline, after securing a $350-loan from a consortium of banks, including South Africa's Rand Merchant Bank. The other banks in the consortium are the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Citibank's Kenya...
More
 
 
Latest News
A preliminary investigation by the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) into the derailment of a Shosholoza Meyl train in Kimberley earlier this month, found that Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) had failed to communicate with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)...
Three of home improvement company Illiad’s major shareholders – Sanlam, Visio and Coronation, which held 69.25% – have agreed to vote in favour of a takeover by Steinhoff, with the company’s remaining shareholders to vote on the deal on September 29. Seventy-five per...
Government should face the fact that South Africa’s full-blown jobs crisis is a matter of urgent public importance, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Friday. MP James Vos, the DA shadow minister of tourism, was responding to a letter by Baleka Mbete, the Speaker...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Training company The Intelligence Transfer Centre will host the fourth yearly Environmental Crimes Conference at the Indaba Hotel, in Fourways, Johannesburg between September 9 and 10. Confirmed key regulatory bodies that will attend the event include the Department...
The government of Egypt has said it is ready to provide technical assistance to Malawi in the development of the Shire–Zambezi waterway, which is designed to link landlocked Malawi to the Indian Ocean by opening the two rivers for navigation. Egyptian ambassador to...
Kenya is finally set to start building a new multipurpose petroleum pipeline, after securing a $350-loan from a consortium of banks, including South Africa's Rand Merchant Bank. The other banks in the consortium are the Cooperative Bank of Kenya, Citibank's Kenya...
MARAIS VAN HEERDEN The owner/operator should be able to view the overall project design and progress made at any time
Three-dimensional (3D) engineering design models can now be viewed on tablets, which enable stakeholders to view the design without having to buy the design software used to create it, says engineering design firm 3DDraughting executive Marais van Heerden. The...
Ford’s newest offering in a long list of newcomers to the local market in the last two years is the B-Max multi-activity vehicle (MAV). The B-Max will play in the so called B-MAV segment, or the small MAV segment, currently dominated by Toyota’s Avanza, which sells...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96