A new, meter-wave radio telescope has been built in the north-east of Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean, at a latitude of -20.14‡. The Mauritius Radio Telescope (MRT) is a Fourier Synthesis T-shaped array, consisting of a 2048 m long East-West arm and an 880 m long South arm. In the East-West arm 1024 fixed helices are arranged in 32 groups and in the South arm 16 trolleys, with four helices on each, which move on a rail are used. A 512-channel digital complex correlation receiver is used to measure the visibility function. At least 60 days of observing are required for obtaining the visibilities up to 880 m spacing. The Fourier transform of the calibrated visibilities produces a map of the area of the sky under observation with a synthesized beam width 4′ × 4.6′ sec(δ + 20.14‡) at 151.5 MHz.
The primary objective of the telescope is to produce a sky survey in the declination range –70‡ to –10‡ with a point source sensitivity of about 200 mJy (3a level). This will be the southern sky equivalent of the Cambridge 6C survey. In this paper we describe the telescope, discuss the array design and the calibration techniques used, and present a map made using the telescope.
Volume 40 | Issue 5
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