http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.58Change: -0.05
R/$ = 10.55Change: -0.04
Au 1299.15 $/ozChange: -4.80
Pt 1439.20 $/ozChange: -5.30
 
 
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
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Apr 16, 2010

Two space telescope projects of interest to South Africa

Back
Pretoria|Lavochkin|Roscosmos|Japan|Kazakhstan|Russia|South Africa|Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory|Satellite Design|Satellite-based Very Long Baseline Interferometry|Radio Astronomy Observatory|Microwave|Radiation
pretoria|lavochkin|roscosmos|japan|kazakhstan|russia|south-africa|hartebeesthoek-radio-astronomy-observatory|satellite-design|satellite-based-very-long-baseline-interferometry|radio-astronomy-observatory|microwave|radiation-technology
© 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
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
South African antenna designer and producer Poynting and provider of professional products, system integration and implementation and commissioning services for the broadcast and telecommunications markets in South Africa, African Union Communications (Aucom),...
Industrial automation giant Festo has been displaying some of the its ongoing research projects and latest automation developments and products at the Hannover industrial fair from April 7 to 11, as part of its Integrated Automation – The Next Steps theme. The...
South African retail companies are responding to the way in which e-commerce is changing their engagement model with customers by improving customer engagement channels and order fulfilment intelligence, says industrial and retail software company JDA Europe, Middle...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Majuba
Regulations governing the application for and awarding of prospecting rights and mining rights for underground coal gasification (UCG) in South Africa have been included in the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill, accelerating the...
While trade activity remained in positive territory during March it was still restrained, found the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (Sacci’s) Trade Conditions Survey, released on Tuesday. Sacci’s trade activity index (TAI) for March, at a level...
JSE-listed integrated information and communications technology systems provider Datacentrix on Tuesday posted double-digit growth for the year ended February. CEO Ahmed Mahomed explained in a statement that a continued focus on intelligent, higher-value solutions...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
South African antenna designer and producer Poynting and provider of professional products, system integration and implementation and commissioning services for the broadcast and telecommunications markets in South Africa, African Union Communications (Aucom),...
Industrial automation giant Festo has been displaying some of the its ongoing research projects and latest automation developments and products at the Hannover industrial fair from April 7 to 11, as part of its Integrated Automation – The Next Steps theme. The...
South African retail companies are responding to the way in which e-commerce is changing their engagement model with customers by improving customer engagement channels and order fulfilment intelligence, says industrial and retail software company JDA Europe, Middle...
In support of the South African government’s mandate to create more jobs and promote sustainable development, multilevel marketing company Amway’ business model aims to assist government in easing the startup of business and encourage an entrepreneurial mindset...
The global energy outlook is that energy demand will double by 2050 and the world’s population will grow to nine-billion, creating a need for increased energy supply with reduced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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