A study of radio astronomy principles and SKA pathfinder system designs with pulsar science

Otto, Sunelle (2011-03-14)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is an international project to build the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope interferometer. It will consist of thousands of antennas distributed over many kilometers, with the hosting country being either South Africa or Australia. Various pathfinders have been initiated to demonstrate the technologies needed to implement the SKA. The astronomy community has defined five Key Science Projects (KSP), which are the drivers for the SKA. The science goals determine the technical requirements needed to design SKA systems. Many years of planning and development are still needed in order to meet to the requirements of such a large and complex project. This thesis aims to present the various SKA pathfinder systems in terms of their application to the SKA key science projects, with main focus that of pulsar observations. In order to achieve this, a thorough overview of basic radio astronomy principles and techniques is presented, followed by a detailed look at the various pathfinders. Throughout the work, aspects of pulsar observations are given particular attention with the goal of designing optimal systems for the SKA.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die Square Kilometre Array (SKA) is ’n internasionale projek om die wêreld se grootste en mees sensitiewe radio teleskoop interferometer te bou. Dit sal bestaan uit duisende antennas versprei oor etlike kilometers, met die gasheer land óf Suid-Afrika óf Australië. Verskeie koersbepalers is geïnisieer om die tegnologie te demonstreer wat benodig is om die SKA te implementeer. Die astronomie gemeenskap het vyf sleutel wetenskap projekte (KSP) gedefinieër wat dien as die drywers vir die SKA. Die wetenskap doelwitte bepaal die tegniese vereistes wat nodig is om SKA stelsels to ontwerp. Talle jare van beplanning en ontwikkeling word steeds benodig om te voldoen aan die vereistes van so ’n groot en komplekse projek. Hierdie tesis het ten doel die aanbieding van verskeie SKA koersbepaler stelsels in terme van hulle aanwending tot die SKA sleutel wetenskap projekte, met hoof fokus op die van pulsar waarnemings. Om dit te behaal, word ’n deeglike oorsig van basiese radio astronomie beginsels en tegnieke aangebied, gevolg deur ’n gedetailleerde kyk na die verskeie koersbepalers. Regdeur die werk word spesifieke aandag gegee aan aspekte van pulsar waarnemings met die doel om optimale stelsels vir die SKA te ontwerp.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6810
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