The Radio Astronomy Station of Porto da Balsa, in Pampilhosa da Serra, received the installation of the Atlas Radio Telescope, a model that allows remote control from several different points of the country and the world. The main activities to be developed in this site are: radioastronomy and space science, both under the ENGAGE SKA roadmap (https://engageska-portugal.pt), led by Domingos Barbosa, from the University of Aveiro and IT.
The installation of the equipment was carried out by the Italian company Radio2Sapace / PrimaLuce Lab, one of the European leaders in astronomy material, together with Miguel Bergano and Domingos Barbosa (both from UA / IT) and Dalmiro Maia (Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto - FEUP).
After the assembly of the radio telescope, which took 3 days, on November 28, the “First Light” took place. This was the first detection event that attested the functionality of the equipment with the detection of Cassiopeia A, a remnant of supernova located in the constellation Cassiopeia. The Atlas, prepared to record all signals from space, consists of a 5 meter diameter antenna and is able to make professional radio astronomy accessible to everyone from universities, science institutes, scientific museums or space agencies.
“This station is equipped with two radio telescopes, of 9 and 5 meters in diameter, and has the ability to screen the cosmos, collecting information from various celestial sources: supernovae, pulsars, etc. On the other hand, we have the ability to map out space debris (satellite debris, re-entry of objects into our atmosphere, etc.), explained Miguel Bergano.