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13th of July 2015
ATNF Colloquium
Grote Reber Medal Lecture: Enabling Technologies for Modern Radio Astronomy
by Ron Ekers (CASS)
Abstract. 80 years ago Grote Reber started on the path of technical innovation in radio astronomy, including the first use of a large parabolic dish. This triggered an amazing sequence of discoveries of unexpected phenomena in the cosmos. This was our first view of the non-thermal universe, and our first unobscured view of the universe. Radio telescopes have followed the pattern of exponential growth generally seen in flourishing areas of science and technology, Moore's Law being one famous example. There is no technical reason for this exponential growth not to continue, but to do so will require continued developments in technology and new approaches to big science in radio astronomy.

I will discuss some of the developments that have made modern radio astronomy possible, in particular the development of aperture synthesis and the imaging algorithms. Other technology developments include low noise amplifiers, wideband digital signal processing, monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMIC), photonics, new concepts in focal plane and aperture plane arrays, and massive data processing capabilities.

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