project research

DRAO

The Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory (DRAO) is located in a radio-quiet zone in the South Okanagan situated between Penticton and Oliver. The DRAO is a National Research Council site home to several massive telescopes including Canada’s largest radio telescope Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME), which consists of four 100m long 20m wide cylindrical reflector antennae. In addition to CHIME, the Synthesis Telescope is an array of seven 9m wide antennae on tracks that studies the interstellar medium of the milky way and nearby galaxies. The smaller, solid-surface dish Solar Radio Flux Monitor tracks the sun’s movement across the sky and produces space weather data that is used for a variety of purposes, for example, with commercial airlines, flights will be grounded if a solar storm is detected (also pictured, the data collection shed). The centre-piece of DRAO is the monumental John A. Galt telescope, a 26m wide dish that has been used in the Very Long Baseline interferometry (VLBI), a process that involves multiple radio telescopes collecting a signal from an astronomical source by acting as a single telescope the size of the distance between the smaller ones (VLBI was used to create the first image of black hole in April). Also pictured, a couple shots from the completely sound-proof room housed in the main lab building.