Medicina Radio Astronomical Station

IRA - Institute of Radio Astronomy

INAF - National Institute for Astrophysics

32-m Dish

The 32-m dish, built in 1983, can receive signals in the range 1.4 – 26.5 GHz. It is employed for both interferometric and single-dish observations. In the former case it works with other antennas, located in different European or worldwide countries taking part to the "EVN (European Very Long Baseline Interferometry Network) Consortium. The main goal of the consortium is to obtain high resolution data in order to analyse fine details of the radio sources.

Another application of interferometric observations is in the Geodesy field. The VLBI techniques are able to measure the distances among the involved antennas with an accuracy of a few millimetres. This allows the study of the crustal plates movements with unparalleled precision.

As concerns single-dish activities, at present they mainly focus on: spectrometry of water and methanol maser sources, sky surveys, flux variability of compact extragalactic sources, polarimetric observations of Galactic regions, planetary studies.

Useful informations, i.e. "Table of Receivers" available on the antenna and the "Antenna User Manual", are reachable following this link.

Observing with the dish

Notice: technical details and user's guides for observers are presented in a dedicated page.

The Medicina radio telescope receivers work in a “frequency agility” context: receivers and frequencies can be switched within a few seconds. A new 18-26.5 GHz dual-horn system has recently been installed.

Two backends are available  for single-dish observations:
•  continuum observations are performed via an analog backend allowing bandwidths as wide as 2 GHz;
•  spectroscopic observations can be carried out using XARCOS, a 4096-channel digital spectrometer enabling observations in "zoom" mode - i.e. applying different frequency resolutions to the same band.

ROACH-based backends are being developed and will be available in a near future.

The Medicina telescope is equipped with the Enhanced Single-dish Control System (ESCS), a new telescope operating system. It allows high-speed On-The-Fly acquisitions and covers  all the most popular single-dish observing modes. 

Observing time can be requested following the procedure described at this link.