Special Issue for FAST

The fundamental performance of FAST with 19-beam receiver at L band

Peng Jiang, Ning-Yu Tang, Li-Gang Hou, Meng-Ting Liu, Marko Krčo, Lei Qian, Jing-Hai Sun, Tao-Chung Ching, Bin Liu, Yan Duan, You-Ling Yue, Heng-Qian Gan, Rui Yao, Hui Li, Gao-Feng Pan, Dong-Jun Yu, Hong-Fei Liu, Di Li, Bo Peng, Jun Yan, FAST Collaboration


Abstract The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) has passed national acceptance and finished one pilot cycle of ‘Shared-Risk’ observations. It will start formal operation soon. In this context, this paper describes testing results of key fundamental parameters for FAST, aiming to provide basic support for observation and data reduction of FAST for scientific researchers. The 19-beam receiver covering 1.05–1.45 GHz was utilized for most of these observations. The fluctuation in electronic gain of the system is better than 1% over 3.5 hours, enabling enough stability for observations. Pointing accuracy, aperture efficiency and system temperature are three key parameters for FAST. The measured standard deviation of pointing accuracy is 7.9′′, which satisfies the initial design of FAST. When zenith angle is less than 26.4º, the aperture efficiency and system temperature around 1.4 GHz are ∼0.63 and less than 24 K for central beam, respectively. The sensitivity and stability of the 19-beam backend are confirmed to satisfy expectation by spectral HI observations toward NGC 672 and polarization observationstoward 3C 286. The performance allows FAST to take sensitive observations for various scientific goals, from studies of pulsars to galaxy evolution.


Keywords instrumentation: detectors — line: profiles

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