The radio telescope facility at RPL is an excellent paedagogical tool fo r introducing students to the field of radio astronomy. The 3-m Small Meterwave Radio Telescope (SRT) antenna is developed by MIT Haystack Observatory (USA) and is a part of RPL since 2008. The antenna is located in the north end of the NCRA East campus. The antenna is mounted on the roof of the control-room (Room No 6 ). The telescope can look approximately 70% of the sky above horizon.
The 3-m dish is mounted on top of a fully motorized AZ-AL mount, designe d by CASSI Corp. The antenna is equipped with a superheterodyne receiver, which uses digital technology with a 8-bit analog to digital down converter (AD9283), GC1011A and Motorola 56F803 digital signal processor (DSP). The receiver and the low noise amplifier are mounted at the feed of the antenna and it is controlled remotely using a STAMP microprocessor and RS-232 communications.
A Software has been provided for controlling the antenna (both AZ and AL motion) and selection of sources and also allowing the observer to observe in to modes: continuum and spectral line mode in the L-band (1.42 GHz) and to perfor m total power measurements and contour mapping. The further data reduction can b e performed using existing radio astronomy software packages. The SRT is used ro utinely for many simple radio astronomy experiments involving system temperature calibration, solar flux observations and galactic HI line observations.
Detail information about the 3-m telescope can be obtained from the following link http://www.haystack.mit.edu/edu/undergrad/srt/