In the name of science

Science experiments, as in life, are plagued by uncertainties.  As sarah showed last week, a particularly pernicious one is the response of the  telescope across the image. Things tend to get dimmer towards the edges, but without some very well known source in that area, its difficult to correct.  Most telescopes get around this problem by physically scanning across a known source, tracing out the response function.  Our new low frequency telescopes (MWA,PAPER) are fixed to the ground, we do not have the option of moving the telescope. So its time to get creative.  We can use satellites, known astronomical radio sources, or we can even fly a known transmitter over the telescope.

So, I hope this explains this picture here.


Danny flying the Octocopter. Next, we’ll be attaching a calibration antenna.

The Octocopter is on loan from our colleagues at Curtin University. (Here’s a great video they made with it.) We’ll be attaching a calibration source and flying grid pattern over the telescope.  Today we just attached a go pro camera.  Here’s the footage