Tools of Radio Astronomy: Edition 4

Springer Science & Business Media
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Progress in the fields of science and technology is again the reason for updat ing this text most changes occur in Chaps. 4, 7, 8 and 14; in the others we have made a number of minor improvements. In Chap. 4, Signal Precessing and Receivers, we have shortened the presen tation of maser and parametric amplifier front ends, which are no longer com monly used as microwave receivers in radio astronomy. Instead, we have ex panded the presentation of cooled transistor and superconducting front ends, and we have added a short section on coherent multi-beam receiver systems. The chapter titled Observational Methods now appears as Chap. 7, and mainly addresses single dish observations. Chapter 8 now concerns Interfer ometers and Aperture Synthesis. Aperture synthesis has become the single important imaging technique in observational astronomy, and its use most has spread from the radio frequency range into other wavelength bands pro viding the only general method available for obtaining images of extremely high resolution and quality. The discussion of the foundations for aperture synthesis therefore have been extended and hopefully improved. Both the hardware and the software instrumentation is now collected in this chapter.
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Springer Science & Business Media
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Mar 14, 2013
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As evidenced by five Nobel Prizes in physics, radio astronomy in its 80-year history has contributed greatly to our understanding of the universe. Yet for too long, there has been no suitable textbook on radio astronomy for undergraduate students.

Fundamentals of Radio Astronomy: Observational Methods is the first undergraduate-level textbook exclusively devoted to radio astronomy telescopes and observation methods. This book, the first of two volumes, explains the instrumentation and techniques needed to make successful observations in radio astronomy. With examples interspersed throughout and problems at the end of each chapter, it prepares students to contribute to a radio astronomy research team.

Requiring no prior knowledge of astronomy, the text begins with a review of pertinent astronomy basics. It then discusses radiation physics, the collection and detection of astronomical radio signals using radio telescopes, the functioning of various components of radio telescopes, and the processes involved in making successful radio observations. The book also provides a conceptual understanding of the fundamental principles of aperture synthesis and a more advanced undergraduate-level discussion of real-world interferometry observations.

Web Resource
A set of laboratory exercises is available for download on the book’s CRC Press web page. These labs use the Small Radio Telescope (SRT) and the Very Small Radio Telescope (VSRT) developed for educational use by MIT’s Haystack Observatory. The web page also includes a Java package that demonstrates the principles of Fourier transforms, which are needed for the analysis of interferometric data.

This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license.

The third edition of this indispensable book in radio interferometry provides extensive updates to the second edition, including results and technical advances from the past decade; discussion of arrays that now span the full range of the radio part of the electromagnetic spectrum observable from the ground, 10 MHz to 1 THz; an analysis of factors that affect array speed; and an expanded discussion of digital signal-processing techniques and of scintillation phenomena and the effects of atmospheric water vapor on image distortion, among many other topics.

With its comprehensiveness and detailed exposition of all aspects of the theory and practice of radio interferometry and synthesis imaging, this book has established itself as a standard reference in the field. It begins with an overview of the basic principles of radio astronomy, a short history of the development of radio interferometry, and an elementary discussion of the operation of an interferometer. From this foundation, it delves into the underlying relationships of interferometry, sets forth the coordinate systems and parameters to describe synthesis imaging, and examines configurations of antennas for multielement synthesis arrays. Various aspects of the design and response of receiving systems are discussed, as well as the special requirements of very-long-baseline interferometry (VLBI), image reconstruction, and recent developments in image enhancement techniques and astrometric observations. Also discussed are propagation effects in the media between the source and the observer, and radio interference, factors that limit performance. Related techniques are introduced, including intensity interferometry, optical interferometry, lunar occultations, tracking of satellites in Earth orbit, interferometry for remote Earth sensing, and holographic measurements of antenna surfaces.

This book will benefit anyone who is interested in radio interferometry techniques for astronomy, astrometry, geodesy, or electrical engineering.

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