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  • SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

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SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

Product code: SPIDER500A

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Quick Overview

SPIDER 500A is the professional radio telescope designed to make advanced radio astronomy accessible to everyone: professionals, institutions or scientific museums.

The SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope is a complete and ready to use system, equipped with 5 meter diameter antenna and all the parts needed to record radio waves coming from space at 1420 MHz frequency of and with features of both radiometer and spectrometer.

Availability: Available


5 meter prime focus parabolic antenna

In order to get a powerful but still compact and easy to handle radio telescope, it has been developed the WEB500-5 antenna that, thanks to 5 meters diameter and construction in fine metallic mesh, it provides a large collection surface with a low weight. Special rear supports maintain the rigidity of the whole parabolic antenna on the mount avoiding flexures and ensuring the effectiveness of the pointing system. They also help to maintain a perfect parabolic shape with a maximum error of less than lambda/20.

SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

1420 MHz optimized feed horn

Developed specifically for 1420 MHz PrimaLuceLab radio telescopes, the H-FEED feed horn is designed for optimal illumination of the primary reflector allowing high gain and minimize side lobes and the spillover effect, thus obtaining the best possible performance from the 5 meters parabolic antenna. The feed horn is designed to allow the reception of dual polarization with support for two professional Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA) for the 1420 MHz frequency. The feed horn is positioned in the perfect point of focus of the antenna through a rigid support with 4 double supports, in order to have low obstruction and with a focusing device to precisely focus and maximize the performance of the entire radio telescope.

SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

Alt-az waterproof computerized mount

Radio astronomy can be made performed both by day and night time and even when cloudy, since the 1420 MHz radio waves are not blocked by clouds. For this reason, in order to capitalize on this opportunity w have designed the new WP-400 altazimuth mount, completely waterproof, allowing you to leave the SPIDER 500A radio telescope permanently installed outside. Equipped with automatic tracking and goto system controlled by the radio telescope software, it allows you to point with great precision the Universe radio sources and move the antenna with a continuous and precise tracking. The WP-400 mount has 400 Kg load capacity and a very high precision pointing and tracking (encoders read resolution 0,0015°). It can be also equipped with a special electronic security system which "park" the antenna pointing the Zenith (the vertical position) when the wind exceeds 50 Km/h, so the radio telescope moves to the position that offers the lower resistance to the wind and it’s locked safely.

SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

High load capacity pier

The WEB500-5 antenna, for its large diameter, can generate a big effort on the ground and, considering the weight of the WP-400 mount, it requires a very stable and robust anchoring system. The new C400-HEAVY pier offers all of these features, and it’s simultaneously designed to keep the SPIDER 500A radio telescope permanently installed on the field. The radio telescope and the C400-HEAVY pier are designed to be installed on a reinforced concrete base, on which the base of the column is fixed by means of special high strength bolts. Along with the installation manual and operation of the radio telescope, the complete concrete base designs are supplied, depending on the different types of soil in which you plan to install the SPIDER 500A radio telescope.

SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

1420 MHz receiver

In order to get the best possible performance with the 5 meters diameter antenna of the SPIDER 500A, the new H142-One receiver has been specially developed, a 1420 MHz superheterodyne type radiometer/ spectrometer, double conversion (type UP/DOWN) with 50 MHz received instantaneous bandwidth (RF=1.395MHz-1.445MHz) and 14-bit analog to digital converter. The H142-One receiver has spectrometer with 1024 channels (each 61 KHz) that are displayed and processed in real time by the control software supplied with the radio telescope. Thanks to the high gain and the low electronic noise of this receiver, the SPIDER 500A radio telescope is able to record many radio sources in the Universe, with a theoretical flow of at least 5 Jy.

SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

RadioUniversePRO software

SPIDER 500A comes with the new version of RadioUniversePRO software that is specifically designed to allow you to check all the parameters, operation and record various results with the radio telescope. RadioUniversePRO can be installed on a standard Windows computer and is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10. The graphical interface provides a simple mode with integrated planetarium that shows, in real time, the position of radio sources in the sky, and then allows you to simply use the SPIDER 500A radio telescope.

At the same time RadioUniversePRO offers the possibility to activate the advanced interface which adds many options, customizations and typical functions of professional radio telescopes and are therefore particularly useful for expert users (that found in RadioUniversePRO the same modus operandi of the large-sized radio telescopes).

SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope

Technical Specifications

Antenna diameter (m) 5
Antenna type Prime focus
Working frequency 1,42 GHz
Bandwidth 50 MHz
Feed Yes
A/D converter 14 bits
Mount Computerized alt-azimuth
Control handpad No
Maximum slewing speed 90° / min
Control software Yes
Dome Not necessary

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