By Andy Choi
For the first time, Australian and Korean radio telescopes have been integrated to form a system. This 8000 km massive telescope system has 100x more resolving power than the Hubble Space Telescope.
Similar telescope link-up efforts are being carried out by Australia, Japan and China. Currently, Australia is now conducting initial tests with telescopes in India. Combination of signals from widely separated telescopes forms the basis of developing the Square Kilometre Array (SKA).
The linkup involves telescopes from the University of Tasmania near Hobart, telescopes from two CSIRO dishes near Coonabarabran and Narrabri in NSW, and two telescopes used by the Korean Astronomy and Space Science Institute.
A five-hour observation was carried out by the telescope on the target. The resulting data was then subjected to real-time streaming over optical fibre links and sent to Curtin University in Perth, WA. At the university’s International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, it underwent "on the fly" process. The processing of data from each telescope was carried out at the rate of 64 MBPS.
The high-speed data links were provided by the region's current research and education infrastructure divisions such as AARNet, and its Korean subsidiary, Kreonet, and the Australian Academic Research Network.
The results were satisfactory to the organizer of the tests, Dr Chris Phillips of CSIRO.
In order to conduct the tests, a source called J0854+2006 was targeted by the astronomers. This powerful galaxy is located 3.5 B light-years away and can emit strongly in radio waves. It accommodates a central pair of supermassive black holes, the two black holes are coiled together and will merge in another 10,000 years, emitting large amounts of radiation.