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The Next Generation Arecibo Telescope: A Preliminary Study

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
May 15, 2023
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The Next Generation Arecibo Telescope: A Preliminary Study
The configuration of the NGAT-130. In this configuration, one hundred and two 13 m diameter dishes form a compact, planar phased array, which will have a collecting area equivalent to a parabolic dish ∼130 m in diameter. The size of the telescope structure will be D ∼ 146 m. — astro-ph.IM

The Next Generation Arecibo Telescope (NGAT) was a concept presented in a white paper Roshi et al. (2021) developed by members of the Arecibo staff and user community immediately after the collapse of the 305 m legacy telescope.

A phased array of small parabolic antennas placed on a tiltable plate-like structure forms the basis of the NGAT concept. The phased array would function both as a transmitter and as a receiver. This envisioned state of the art instrument would offer capabilities for three research fields, viz. radio astronomy, planetary and space & atmospheric sciences.

The proposed structure could be a single plate or a set of closely spaced segments, and in either case it would have an equivalent collecting area of a parabolic dish of size 300 m. In this study we investigate the feasibility of realizing the structure. Our analysis shows that, although a single structure ~300 m in size is achievable, a scientifically competitive instrument 130 to 175 m in size can be developed in a more cost effective manner. We then present an antenna configuration consisting of one hundred and two 13 m diameter dishes. The diameter of an equivalent collecting area single dish would be ~130 m, and the size of the structure would be ~146 m.

The weight of the structure is estimated to be 4300 tons which would be 53% of the weight of the Green Bank Telescope. We refer to this configuration as NGAT-130. We present the performance of the NGAT-130 and show that it surpasses all other radar and single dish facilities. Finally, we briefly discuss its competitiveness for radio astronomy, planetary and space & atmospheric science applications.

D. Anish Roshi, Sean Marshall, Amit Vishwas, Mike Sulzer, P. K. Manoharan, Maxime Devogele, Flaviane Venditti, Allison Smith, Sravani Vaddi, Arun Venkataraman, Phil Perillat, Julie Brisset

Comments: 6 pages, 5 figures, 1 table, Invited paper for the ICEAA-IEEE APWC conference, Venice, Italy, Oct 9-13, 2023
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Geophysics (physics.geo-ph); Instrumentation and Detectors (physics.ins-det)
Cite as: arXiv:2305.07780 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2305.07780v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
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Submission history
From: D. Anish Roshi
[v1] Fri, 12 May 2023 21:55:10 UTC (944 KB)

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