Medicina Radio Astronomical Station

IRA - Institute of Radio Astronomy

INAF - National Institute for Astrophysics

Livecam on 32m dish




The webcam is placed nearby the 32m dish antenna.



What's going on today on 32m dish?


VLBI Astro

The Medicina dish is part of an international network for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Today it is observing simultaneously with the other antennas of the network, recording the data and sending them to a single processing center, where they are combined to obtain images, or other information about the observed celestial bodies, at very high angular resolution.




VLBI RadioASTRON

The Medicina dish is part of an international network for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Today it is observing simultaneously with other antennas around the globe and the Russian satellite RadioAstron, which reaches distances close to that of the Moon, allowing angular resolutions several million times better than those obtained with a single antenna on Earth.




VLBI Geodetic

The Medicina dish is part of an international network for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI).

Today it takes part in a geodetic VLBI observation: this technique is used to measure the distances between the various antennas of the network with the precision of a millimeter and then trace, considering their changes, the velocity of the tectonic plates.




SINGLE DISH Spectroscopic

The Medicina dish is used as a single instrument (single-dish), when the high angular resolutions provided by the VLBI technique are not needed.

Today it is performing single-dish observations in “spectroscopic” mode: the properties of the observed celestial bodies are revealed using the frequency distribution (spectrum) of their radio emission.




SINGLE DISH Continuum

The Medicina dish is used as a single instrument (single-dish), when the high angular resolutions provided by the VLBI technique are not needed.

Today it is performing “continuum” single-dish observations: the properties of the observed celestial bodies are studied by measuring the total intensity of their radio emission in a wide frequency band.

For some types of investigation the signal polarization is measured as well.




Test

The Medicina dish is used also for testing special algorithm used, i.e., for monitoring RFI (Radio Frequency Interferences) scenarios.

Infact, the high sensitivity requirement of radio telescopes makes them vulnerable to various radio frequency interference (RFI).

Today it is performing “a test” where new programming techniques of back-ends are used for RFI excision from data collected during the observations.




Maintenance and Calibration

Ideally, the dish could observe 24/7. It is “stowed” in vertical position whenever maintenance activities are carried out.

Besides, periodic observations aimed at testing and calibrating the various instruments are necessary.

Even the control software, written by researchers, is regularly updated and tested.

These operations are crucial for the telescope to provide reliable measurements.