Vol 14, No 6 (2014) / Kong

A new calibration model for pointing a radio telescope that considers nonlinear errors in the azimuth axis

De-Qing Kong, Song-Gen Wang, Jin-Qing Wang, Min Wang, Hong-Bo Zhang


A new calibration model of a radio telescope that includes pointing error is presented, which considers nonlinear errors in the azimuth axis. For a large radio telescope, in particular for a telescope with a turntable, it is difficult to correct pointing errors using a traditional linear calibration model, because errors produced by the wheel-on-rail or center bearing structures are generally nonlinear. Fourier expansion is made for the oblique error and parameters describing the inclination direction along the azimuth axis based on the linear calibration model, and a new calibration model for pointing is derived. The new pointing model is applied to the 40 m radio telescope administered by Yunnan Observatories, which is a telescope that uses a turntable. The results show that this model can significantly reduce the residual systematic errors due to nonlinearity in the azimuth axis compared with the linear model.


telescopes — antennas — pointing models

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