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The Radioheliograph and the Radio Astronomy Programme of the Culgoora Observatory
Wild, J. P.
Proceedings of the Astronomical Society of Australia, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp. 38-39
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The radio installations at Culgoora Observatory evolved from the work carried out at Dapto field station between 1952 and 1965---which in turn was based on earlier observations. The basic instrument at Dapto was a radiospectrograph which produced two solar spectra per second over a frequency range originally of 40-210 MHz and finally of 5-2000 MHz. Until 1957 the Dapto radio spectrograph was the only one operating in the world and it fell upon this instrument to reveal many of the spectral phenomena which are now well known. The spectrograph observations referred to the total flux from the Sun observations with high directivity began at Dapto in 1958 with the introduction of a swept-frequency interferometer which measured the one-dimensional (east-west) positions of bursts and their approximate angular size over a continuous range of frequencies between 40 and 70 MHz. The results obtained from this combination of spectrograph and interferometer indicated that great advances would be made in our knowledge and understanding of the phenomena if two-dimensional metre-wavelength pictures of the Sun could somehow be recorded at short time intervals of about Is---again in combination with spectrographic observations. This requirement led to the start of the radioheliograph project. One requirement for this instrument was a site with linear dimensions of the order of 3x3 km. This was far too large for the Dapto site and a new site was selected at Culgoora in the north-west plains of New South Wales. The virtues of this site are its size, flatness, freedom from flooding, low radio noise level and accessibility from Sydney by air transport. Its sunshine and optical-seeing properties also made it a highly desirable site for optical observations, and developments assumed a new significance when Dr. Giovanelli and his optical colleagues decided to join us at the same observatory.

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