Radio Astronomy 813 - 1st semester, 1st term, 2014
This is the home page of Radio Astronomy
813, Dept. of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Univ.
Stellenbosch, South Africa. This course is being led by Prof D B Davidson
this year. Evaluation will be discussed in class.
Lecture days and times:
Lectures are given weekly where possible
during the first term, on Tuesday from 11h00 to approx 12h45
(length varies from week to week). Venue: usually E207, E&E
Engineering, University of Stellenbosch.
- Site first posted 11 Feb 2014
The aim of this post-graduate course is to introduce concepts in
radio astronomy to electronic engineers, in particular for students
pursuing MSc and PhD research on the MeerKAT and SKA telescopes. The
course will introduce some basic concepts in astronomy, more
specifically radio astronomy, and also electromagnetic wave theory,
before moving on the considering radio telescopes (both single
dishes and interferometers). The focus is primarily on engineering
electromagnetics, and secondarily on signal processing. The course
will not go into detail on the astrophysics of radio emissions, but
topics such as including hydrogen line (H1) emissions, synchrotron
radiation (bremmstrahlung), cosmic microwave background radiation,
and some very basic ideas of cosmology will be touched on.
It is intended that the material will sensitise primarily EE
students to the field of radio astronomy, permitting them to
interact intelligently with astronomers - in particular
regarding design work on the new generation of radio telescopes such
as MeerKAT and SKA - rather than making them astronomers per se.
None at present
Lecture schedule and course content (provisional)
Lecture 1 was taken from a variety of sources. Recommended additonal
reading is Chapter 3 in F.R.Chromey, "The measure the sky: An
introduction to observational astronomy", Cambridge Univ Press,
Lectures 2-5 come from J.D. Kraus, "Radio Astronomy", McGraw Hill
1966 (2nd edn 1986, Cygnus-Quasar).
Lecture 6 comes primarily from A.R. Thompson, J.M Moran, G.W
Swenson, "Interferometry and synthesis in radio astronomy", 2nd ed,
Wiley-VCH, 2004; and BG Clark, "Coherence in Radio Astronomy", in
"Synthesis Imaging in Radio Astronomy II", GB Taylor et al. (eds),
APS Conference Series, Vol 180, 1999 (aka the "White Book").
See also the NRAO on-line course "Essential Radio Astronomy",