Table of Contents

  1. What is the Hydrogen spin flip line?
  2. Why isn't assembly of the electronics part of the kit?
  3. Why doesn't Haystack sell the SRT?
  4. Will there be future improvements?
  5. What is CASSI?
  6. Is the SRT suitable for SETI?


What is the Hydrogen spin flip line?

Click here for for details

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Why isn't assembly of the electronics part of the kit?

You will have plenty of opportunity to put the SRT together in a mechanical sense--just not the printed circuit boards.  In order to keep cost, size, and power consumption low, the SRT team decided to use Surface Mount Technology (SMT).  SMT is designed to produce many copies of a board at reduced costs.  Unfortunately, the SMT components are so small that the human ability to hold, place, and solder the components is beyond most peoples' capabilities.  The older through-hole technology would cost more, consume more power, and be less robust.  But, if you are really determined, the complete schematics are available to download from here.

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Why doesn't Haystack sell the SRT ?

Haystack Observatory did what it does best--design, test and prototype a state-of-the-art radio telescope spectrometer and mount system.  The commercial issues of trying to mass produce the system and keep track of all the customer related activities are simply beyond the scope of a R&D institution like Haystack Observatory.  Haystack Observatory is focusing on SRT upgrades, development of projects, and educational materials.

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Will there be future improvements ?

Haystack Observatory is busy looking at digital DNA technology and expanding the system to include the OH maser lines at 1612 MHz.  But this work is just starting and may be several years before it is fully tested and commercialized.  Just like buying a computer, if you wait you will be able to buy more for your money next year, but then again, the same thing will be true next year.  Now is as good a time as any to buy into the system.  When new systems do become available they will be backwardly compatible.

Haystack is also thinking about linking SRTs together to form an interferometer.

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What is CASSI ?

CASSI stands for Custom Astronomical Support Services, Inc.  and is a private corporation initially established to help commercialize the SRT system.  The founder (Dr. Michael Cobb) was actually a customer looking to buy a SRT system.   CASSI is committed to keeping costs as low as possible.   Dr. Cobb's main interest is in promoting the field and introducing his students to the science.

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Is the SRT suitable for SETI?

The SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is a complicated problem.  While the SRT cannot compare in sensitivity or spectral coverage with the larger radio telescopes involved with SETI, the SRT does operate in the "Water Hole" part of the spectrum and the SRT can point anywhere in the sky and operate 24/7.  You can build an observing list and have the SRT constantly searching for detections!  Instead of "SETI at Home", this is "SETI For Home".  Click here for a diagram of the "Water Hole".  Even a telescope like Arecibo transmitting one million watts of power could only be detected about 10 light years away with the SRT.

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Copyright 2000  CASSI. All rights reserved.
Revised: April 06, 2011 .