Earth's Eyes With China Antenna (Powerful, China Science and Technology)
On the 6th, the first prototype of the square-kilo array radio telescope (SKA), which was developed by the Chinese government and was called "The Eye of the Earth," was the "Sample Reflector Antenna" (SKA-P for short). , China Electronics Technology Group Corporation No. 54 (referred to as China Electronics Branch 54) factory. This indicates that China has begun to play a leading and leading role in the R&D of SKA's core equipment, and has provided "antenna solutions" for the world's success in international science projects.
SKA is the world's largest integrated aperture radio telescope planned by the international astronomical community. It is funded and built by many countries around the world. The SKA site is located in a radio-quiet area in eight countries in Australia, South Africa and southern Africa. Its reception area is approximately one square kilometer, which is equivalent to 140 football stadiums.
After the completion of the SKA, the sensitivity of the current largest radio telescope array EVLA will be increased by about 50 times, and the speed of the survey will be increased by about 10,000 times, providing an important opportunity for human understanding of the universe.
SKA is committed to revealing the mysteries of science such as the dawn of the universe and the cradle of life that are of common concern to human beings. It answers the basic problems of the universe, such as the first dawn, structural formation, and the origin of life. It is expected that SKA will open up a new era of human understanding of the universe.
In 2011, SKA (SKAO), an independent legal entity of SKA, was established as a founding member of 7 countries including China. At present, SKAO has 10 members in Australia, Canada, China, India, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Its headquarters are in the United Kingdom. The SKA project is divided into construction preparation phase, construction phase and operation phase (50 years are expected). It is expected that the procurement bidding will be started in 2019, and construction will begin in 2020.
It is understood that the design and construction of SKA-P is led by China Electronics 54. The concept design was put forward in May 2015. At the International Design Awards for Antenna Design Program held in November of the same year, an international review committee composed of a number of experts comprehensively considered the design maturity, construction and installation plans, and cost factors. The Chinese design proposal is recommended as the only R&D solution for SKA-P.
In 2017, the Joint Radio and Astronomy Laboratory (JLRAT), jointly established by China Electronics 54 and the National Astronomical Observatory, became the new lead unit of the SKA Antenna Work Package Alliance, jointly with 20 research institutes in South Africa, Germany, Italy and other countries. SKA reflector antenna research and development, and assume the SKA-P's research and development work.
According to Zhang Guihua, director of the China Electronics Science and Technology Bureau, the performance of the reflector antenna relates to the overall performance of the SKA and the realization of the major scientific goals. SKA puts high requirements on antenna technical specifications and engineering construction. On the one hand, it needs to meet the requirements of high-sensitivity, high pointing accuracy, high-point consistency, ultra-wide band, high electromagnetic shielding, and large field of view and other performance indicators. To meet the requirements of low manufacturing costs, rapid construction and easy maintenance.
Through 5 years of technical research, JLRAT led the joint international team through standardization, modularization, refinement, and integrated design, making SKA-P ultimately meet all technical indicators of SKA technically.
The design life of the antenna is 50 years, which is 2/3 of the weight of the conventional antenna, and it has the advantages of low power consumption, low cost, easy installation, easy transport, and mass production, and lays a strong foundation for the smooth implementation of the future SKA project. .
Experts pointed out that the successful development of SKA-P is a major achievement of SKA engineering research and development and has important milestones. As an increasingly important part of SKA's global diversified innovation map, China will continue to actively integrate into the global innovation network in the future. Taking the opportunity of SKA International Science and Technology Project as an opportunity to promote the Chinese program, Chinese technology and Chinese radio astronomy to gradually reach the center of the world stage. .
In recent years, several radio telescopes have been built in China, and astronomy research is gradually becoming one of the best.