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Long Baseline Array

The Long Baseline Array is a large-scale telescope arrangement that combines our ATNF telescopes with other instruments around the country using technique known as very long baseline interferometry (VLBI). The signals from each of the antennas are correlated to create high-resolution images.

Unlike ATCA, where the data from each antenna is correlated as it is collected, VLBI is carried out by observing at various telescopes in the network relatively independently of each other. The raw data is transported to a correlator facility and correlated there in real time. Since 2015, the main VLBI correlation for the LBA is done at Pawsey Centre for SKA Supercomputing using the DiFX software correlator.

Mopra radio telescope, part of the Australia Telescope National Facility.

VLBI Research with the Long Baseline Array

The Long Baseline includes our Parkes radio telescope, Murriyang, and the Australia Telescope Compact Array, the Mopra radio telescope, and the Hobart and Ceduna antennas operated by the University of Tasmania. Their telescopes may also be requested for special observations.

Our Mopra telescope is a single 22-metre diameter antenna and only used for radio astronomy research as part of the Long Baseline Array. It is located on Gamilaroi Country. near the town of Coonabarabran in north-west New South Wales. There is no public access to Mopra radio telescope.

Other telescopes not operated by the ATNF or formally part of the Long Baseline Array may also be requested. Specific system availability may be dependent on availability at individual antennas.

The telescopes include:

  • The Tidbinbilla DSS-43 70-m antenna, part of Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex.
  • The Warkworth 12m and 30m telescopes, operated by the Auckland University of Technology.
  • The Hartebeesthoek 26-m telescope, operated by South Africa's National Research Foundation, is also often available for LBA observations.

The LBA is also available for observations in conjunction with East Asian VLBI Network (EAVN) and the European VLBI Network (EVN).

VLBI observations proposals for the LBA must be submitted to the ATNF in the same way as proposals to use other ATNF instruments.

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