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Research Infrastructure

MEDICINA Radiotelescopes

Description This radiotelescope of 32m in diameter is one of the big infrastructures of the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF), conceived to work within the International VLBI networks both for Astronomy and Geodesy. It is a node of the European VLBI Network, (EVN), Joint Institute for Very Long Baseline Interferometry in Europe (JIVE), and International VLBI Service for Geodesy and Astrometry (IVS). A qualifying capability of this antenna is the frequency agility (i.e. the capability to change frequency in a completely automatic way, and in a very short time, ranging from 4 seconds to 4 minutes). Moreover, it is equipped with high velocity fibre optics connection, which allows the data transfer in real time (eVLBI). Equipment: The frequency range covered by existing receivers is 1.3 to 26.5 GHz. Surface accuracy is 0.6 mm at Elevation=60o. Pointing accuracy is about 8 arcsec. Sensitivity: 1) 20 mJy with 1 sec of integration has been proved in making a continuum survey at 21GHz by using the On Fly Technique (OTF). 2) 15 mJy with 1 sec of integration has been proved in making a continuum survey at 5GHz by using on the On Fly Technique (OTF). 3) In spectroscopy mode, sensitivity of few mK with very long integrations has been proved in the past. Single-dish observations are performed in continuum mode (including polarimetry) and spectroscopy. New Pointing System and Acquisition Programs (ESCS, Enhanced Single-Dish Control System), allows for different observational modes (on-off, on the fly, mapping, tracking of motu proprio objects like debris, space probe, etc.). Back-ends include a four-input total power with input bandwidth up to 2 GHz and acquisition time down to 1 msec, digital spectrometers. Access: The commitment in VLBI networks (EVN, IVS) covers about 4 months/yr (30%). About 10% of time is for observations in conjunction with the antenna in space RadioAstron (project of the Russian Academy of Science) on the basis of a MoU. The remaining time (60%) is used for single-dish observations in continuum (blazar variability, monitoring of FERMI and PLANCK sources, large-scale surveys) and spectroscopy (masers OH, H2O, methanol) and for geodesy projects. A call for proposal is issued to the international community twice a year and proposals are evaluated on scientific merit by a Time Allocation Committee appointed by INAF. The observatory provides assistance through a staff of engineers and astronomers. The running costs are funded by INAF.
URL http://med.ira.inaf.it
Status Operational since 1901
Operational since 1983
Scientific Domains Physical Sciences and Engineering
RI Categorization Telescopes
Location Via Fiorentina 3513, Villafontana di Medicina (Bologna), 40060, Italy
MERIL URL http://portal.meril.eu/meril/view/facilitys/15601