Very Long Base Line Interferometry is a key technology for high spatial resolution observations of the universe. Among its applications, it should be highlighted the study of galaxies, stars and planetary systems dynamics; the composition and dynamics of planetary atmospheres and the evolution of galaxy clusters.
Radio astronomy instrumentation requires the constant development of custom high performance DSP systems. In the case of the radio telescope arrays, the computation power required scales as (bandwidth) × (Ntelescopes) 2, which can be significantly high taking into account that the number of telescopes can be of several hundreds. The need of such DSP power advocates the use of the current cutting edge technology. The FPGAs are in the forefront of the modern technology, especially when the applications require high processing speeds. One of the challenges of this project will be to bring to an end the most novel radio astronomy instrumentation to enable the measurements of the new radio interferometers.
An application of particular importance is the Geostationary Synthetic Thinned Aperture Radiometer. The measurements obtained with this device will be crucial for atmospheric research and numerical weather prediction. A radiation tolerant ASIC-based cross-correlator needs to be developed. Therefore, another contribution of this project will be the development of this missing key technology.
Fields of science
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