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Receiving radio waves from space is a difficult task that requires the use of instruments specially designed for the radio astronomer: so we designed the WEB230-5 parabolic antenna. It was specifically designed to create an amateur radio telescope with a German equatorial mount, just like the ones used for normal optical telescopes.
Large 2,3 meter diameter parabolic antenna
Radio astronomy studies signals that, in most cases, are very weak. So when you are studying frequencies higher than 1 GHz, it is necessary to use a parabolic antenna with a diameter as large as possible. The WEB230-5 parabolic antenna features a large diameter so it has high gain and resolution. In this way you can capture weaker radio signals and separate finer details.
Mesh construction - incredibly light
In order to allow installation and proper operation of a parabolic antenna on a not-too-expensive equatorial mount (like the EQ8), the main reflector must weigh no more than 12 kg, while the total weight of the antenna (with counterweights and supports) must not exceed 50 kg. The main reflector of the WEB230-5 antenna weighs only 10 kg so you can install it on an equatorial mount with a load capacity of at least 50 kg (with Losmandy dovetail). The perforated surface also results in a low reflection of visible and infrared waves (ie, when the radio telescope points at the Sun, the illuminator and the LNA do not heat up too much) and a lower wind effect. The reflecting surface of this parabolic antenna (primary reflector) is composed of an aluminum mesh with 3x4mm square mesh size for optimum reflectivity of radio waves with frequencies up to 5 GHz.
Support for Ku-band feeder and focus system
In order to study the weak radio astronomical signals, it is necessary to optimize the antenna by adjusting precisely also the focus point. For this reason 4 aluminum rods rigidly maintain feeder and LNA support (LNA illuminator and not included in the WEB230-5 price). An appropriately-sized inner sleeve allows you to fine tune the focus of the system in order to maximize the gain. A special box insulates the LNA to minimize gain variations.
Support device for equatorial mounts
Our support device for equatorial mounts (patented) allows you to install the WEB230-5 parabolic antenna on any equatorial mount (with Losmandy dovetail and load capacity of at least 50 kg, eg. EQ8 type). Thanks to a sliding system with two counterweights and protection against accidental blows, you can obtain perfect balance even in the declination axis for maximum tracking and automatic GOTO performances of the mount. Without counterweights the radio telescope would be completely biased towards the front (because of the weight of the primary reflector and LNA + illuminator group with support rods) and therefore could not properly point and track objects in the sky. A special system of rear tie rods increases the rigidity of the structure while minimizing the deformation of such a large-diameter parabolic antenna.
Fast and secure shipping with UPS
Do you want to buy the parabolic antenna but you cannot visit us in our headquarters or you do not have large enough transport available? No problem! We designed the WEB230-5 to be easily transported and can be divided into 2 sturdy boxes: in this way we can ship it via UPS. Each carton box is composed of a thick outer carton and several internal carton boxes which separate various internal components. The instruments are well protected for a prompt and secure shipment.
All the elements that make up the instrument are pre-installed so you just have to follow the instructions to install it quickly and get started right away!
Why not use a full dish parabolic antenna?
Full dish parabolic antennas ensure, with same diameter as a mesh model, a higher gain so, in theory, they would be the ideal choice, but they are also much heavier (a full 1.5-meter diameter aluminum parabolic antenna weighs no less than 20 Kg, much more than the primary reflector of our mesh parabolic antenna which weighs only 10 kg). So, on the same mount (eg an EQ8), you can install our WEB230-5 2.3 meter parabolic antenna or a full dish smaller than 1.5 meters in diameter. What does this mean?
1) Our parabolic antenna gain is higher so it gives a better sensitivity to the whole system
2) Our parabolic antenna has a greater diameter and so a better resolution capability: it allows you to record finer details
3) The full parabolic antenna also reflects infrared which heats LNA (so placed on the focal point) and therefore increases electronic noise. Our mesh parabolic antenna does not reflect infrared so it does not heat the LNA.
|Antenna diameter (m)||2,3|
|Antenna type||Prime focus|
|Working frequency (GHz)||1 - 5|
|Counterweights||2 x 5 Kg|
|Front support shafts number||4|
|Rear shaft number||3|
|Ku band illuminator support||Yes|