The Department of Radio Astronomy of the Main Astronomical Observatory of the USSR Academy of Sciences
The history of the organisation of the Department and the principles behind the construction of unique telescopes in the form of variable-profile antennas developed at the Main Astronomical Observatory (GAO) are described, together with the development of other new methods and equipment and astrophysical results obtained by the GAO radio-astronomy group. The chapter also discusses the birth of the RATAN-600 radio telescope and the beginning of work on its realisation.
The Department of Radio Astronomy of the Main Astronomical Observatory of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Pulkovo (GAO) was born in the Lebedev Physical Institute (FIAN), organised by the Head of Radio Astronomy Section of the Oscillation Laboratory of FIAN S.E. Khaikin.
The principles behind the construction of variable-profile antennas (VPAs) were developed at FIAN in 1952, and the construction of the Large Pulkovo Radio Telescope, intended to become the main instrument of the GAO Department of Radio Astronomy was planned. Work on the perfection of radiometers and polarimeters operating at centimetre wavelengths was carried out at FIAN.