Exeter Student Radio Telescope to be built at Caradon Observatory
A team of intrepid students are set to herald a new era of astronomy at the University of Exeter after securing a special partnership with the South West’s newest observatory.
The group, called eXeter Radio Telescope at Caradon (XRT-C), have teamed up with Caradon Observatory to build a five-metre dish radio telescope, at the site in South East Cornwall.
Fig 1. Caradon Observatory, South East Cornwall.
The new development will see the installation of a 5m x 5m mesh-dish receiver and L-band (14GHz) antenna, which the students hope to observe the spiral arms of the Galaxy and measure its mass and motion.
Damian Rumble, XRT-C project lead said: “We were blown away by the enthusiasm of the Caradon staff and their openness in helping make our project a reality.
“Our team can now concentrate on the science and engineering challenges of constructing and operating a radio telescope, while our partners at Caradon can use the XRT-C project to spring board the development of their site and spearhead their ambitious plans to become a center of astronomy in the South West.”
The XRT-C project is a national project of UKSEDS, and allows members to gain real experience in observational astronomy outside of an academic research environment.
UKSEDS aims to facilitate opportunities for students at different universities across the UK to work together of space science projects at a fraction of the commercial or government costs.
The XRT-C team have a program of outreach and public engagement events to run in parallel with the project. The team will be documenting the whole process via a dedicated website – www.xrt-c.co.uk .
Based in a remote valley, near the town of Liskard, the Caradon Observatory is an established site; featuring four optical domes, seminar facilities, existing utilities and a radio quiet environment in some of the darkest skies in the UK.
Fig 2. The XRT-C team.
There are several ways to reach the XRT-C team. UKSEDS members are encouraged to see their official Facebook members group (upon invitation) and their public Facebook page. The team are looking for engineers to build the telescope and generally anyone (students/academics/industry partners) who has experience in build and operating telescopes.
For more information please contact:
Damian Rumble & Freya Aldred
Mob: 07854-020575 (DR) & 07972-049870 (FA)