Argus radio telescope
Not to be confused with the SETI League's project of the same name (see Argus, Project), this instrument, to be built at Ohio State University, marks a new approach in radio telescope design. Comprising a planar array of 64 small, mass-produced omnidirectional antennas capable of "seeing" in all directions of the sky at once, it had been scheduled for completion in mid-2000.
Argus will operate in the 200 megahertz to 2 gigahertz frequency range with an instantaneous bandwidth of 1.5 megahertz. A huge amount of computer power will be marshaled to form a complete sky map within seconds using the digitized signals from the individual antennas. Although initially its sensitivity will be low, Argus will provide an important means of testing the technology of array-based, all-sky imaging, radio telescopes – instruments ideally suited to detecting short-duration or fast-changing sources, possibly including stray or beamed radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations. Among future instruments that will use this technique on a larger scale are the Allen Telescope Array and the Square Kilometer Array.
Argus will be constructed, with financial support from the SETI Institute and the North American Astrophysical Observatory (a nonprofit corporation that receives donations and coordinates the volunteer staff), on the west campus of Ohio State at the University's Electroscience Laboratory and Radio Observatory. The Project Director is Robert Dixon.
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