Honour Project


David Sinclair and Penka Matanska

The project would use a 12.8m dish located in Carp (west of Ottawa) which was previously used by NATO to track satellites. It is presently being outfitted with drive motors and position encoders. It has sensitive receivers operating at 0.611 GHz, 1.420 GHz (21 cm line) and 4 GHz (C-band).The student would initially work on commissioning the system including calibration of the telescope sensitivity and the angle encoders. Work on automation of tracking of the device would follow.There are a number of physics projects that could be undertaken. Initially the telescope might be operated at a fixed declination of 22 degrees. It would then sweep across 3 potentially interesting sources each day. One is the crab pulser which is sufficiently bright that individual pulses can be detected by an antenna of this size. Another is a FRB (Fast Radio Burst) source which is known to be a repeater magnetar SGR 1935+2154. In each of these cases the student would receive daily data files and would construct techniques for processing these files to identify possible pulses. The final source on this trajectory is a rather speculative one, but it has been suggested that two black-holes in SDSSJ1430-2303 will merge in the next couple of years and that this might give rise to a high radio flux signal. There are a number of other physics project possible with the facility even operating without tracking. For example, the change in 21 cm frequency as the telescope sweeps across a galaxy could be used to measure the rotation velocity