◾ Radio Telescopes
DOI link for ◾ Radio Telescopes
◾ Radio Telescopes book
This chapter provides an overview of the principal components of a radio telescope and describes what role each of these components play in detecting astronomical radio signals.
A typical radio telescope consists of a primary reector (or dish), feed, transmission line, and receiver; these components are shown schematically in Figure 1.15. We note that radio telescopes operating at very long wavelengths (typically 1 m or longer) can take a very dierent form as discussed in Section 3.6. Most radio telescopes are fully steerable, mounted on Alt-Az, (also called Az-El) mounts (described in Section 1.4.2), and can point to any direction in the sky. A computer controls the motion of the telescope and continuously translates the sky coordinates (see Section 1.3.1) of an astronomical object into current altitude and azimuth positions. We will not discuss further the mechanics of how a radio telescope is mounted or how it moves.