FFTs, Omniscopes, and Far-Future Astronomy

Telescopes make good use of Fourier transforms. Whether they are done digitally, or in analog with optics, FTs allow us to reconstruct chromatic and spatial information of electric fields on the sky. In recent years, Moore’s law has begat a digital age of radio astronomy. Electric fields can be sampled billions of times per second, meaning pure software telescopes are now feasible in the GHz range. In this talk I will discuss “Fast Fourier Transform Telescopes”, and the application of that concept to a Canadian interferometer, CHIME. I will then introduce the concept of an omniscope, which simultaneously observes in all directions and at all wavelengths, and discuss the relevance of ASTRON’s EMBRACE project. Finally, if there’s time, patience, and not too much eye-rolling, I will consider the role intelligent machines might have in the analysis and operation of a far-future fully digital omniscope.

Liam Connor — API -- UvA
Thursday 6 April 2017, 12:00
Location: C4.174