Fleurs offline 20 years today

by Dave Brown.

2 September 2008.

Something of an anniversary - the digital receiver at the Fleurs radiotelescope formerly run by EIE was shut off 20 years ago today.

The radiotelscope at Fleurs had originally been built by the CSIRO to make quick two-dimensional maps of the sun. Electrical Engineering became involved when Professor Christiansen transferred here from CSIRO.

6 Additional larger antennas were built in a carefully planned arrangement which allowed for detailed mapping of distant radio sources.

The telescope had a sensitivity in the order of 10mJy (that's 10 milli-Jansky). This means that with a 6MHz bandwidth (centred on 1415MHz), tracking time of 8 hours and about 1700sq.m of antennas the instrument could detect something with 2-3pJ of incident energy.

The school of Physics continues to operate the Molonglo radiotelescope near the ACT. Molonglo has a similar baseline length of 1.6km, much larger collection area (one of the largest anywhere) and a tracking time of 10-12 hours.

EIE Archive Photography