Advanced RF technologies to observe minuscule celestial radio waves amidst DAB, DVB and 4G

29 November 2017
16:30 - 17:00

Advanced RF technologies to observe minuscule celestial radio waves amidst DAB, DVB and 4G

Radio telescopes observe very weak radio waves emitted by celestial objects. They enable us to look billions of years back in time, and to unravel the mysteries of the universe. Modern radio telescopes have a continuously increasing demand for sensitivity and bandwidth. At the same time, man-made interfering signals, for example by aircrafts, GNSS, DAB, DVB and GSM, are quickly filling up the spectrum. These interferers are up to 175 dB stronger than the noise-like celestial signals. In phased array based radio telescopes, each telescope has thousands of receiver channels. Consequently, cost-effectiveness and power consumption are important design drivers as well. This talk outlines how very careful modeling and design, in combination with advanced RF technologies, have been used to tackle the problem for two modern Dutch telescopes: Lofar and the recently upgraded Westerbork telescope.

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