Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Telescope Project
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A Five hundred meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) is proposed to be built in theunique karst area of southwest China, and will act, in a sense, as a prototype for the Square KilometerArray (SKA). It will be over twice as large as the Arecibo telescope coupled with much wider skycoverage. Some results from site surveys for such a SKA concept are briefly reported. Technically,FAST is not simply a copy of the existing Arecibo telescope but has rather a number of innovations.Firstly, the proposed main spherical reflector, by conforming to a paraboloid of revolution in real timethrough actuated active control, enables the realization of both wide bandwidth and full polarizationcapability while using standard feed design. Secondly, a feed support system which integrates optical,mechanical and electronic technologies will effectively reduce the cost of the support structure andcontrol system. Pre-research on FAST has become a key project in the CAS.
KeywordSpherical telescope, karst depression, active reflector, cable supporting
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