A 30 meter radio telescope will be constructed and operated in Greece for the first time, at the southeastern point of Europe at the Thermopile Center of Satellite Communications in the region of Skarfeia, Lokrida. The ambitious project is the result of the scientific collaboration between the scientists in charge, Assistant Professor - Radio Astronomer Nectaria A.B. Gizani, from the School of Science and Technology (SST) of the Hellenic Open University, and Assistant Professor - Physicist-RF Engineer George P. Veldes, from the Telecommunication Systems & Applications Research Laboratory (TSARL) of the Department of Electronics Engineering of Technological Educational Institute of Sterea Ellada.
The Hellenic Telecommunications Organisation (OTE), has provided SST/TSARL the necessary infrastructure of the 30-meter telecommunication antenna, which will be transformed to receive radio signals from the Universe. A Memorandum of Understanding was recently signed between OTE and SST/TSARL so that the Hellenic Center of Radioastronomy will be established with the respective international scientific standards. The main aims are:
• Development of the scientific research in the field of Radioastronomy in Greece by providing the professional infrastructure to the Hellenic scientific community
• Our radiotelescope will be connected with the European and Global Very Long Baseline Interferometry (EVN and Global VLBI respectively)
• Acquiring the know-how in the development of radioastronomy equipment and techniques, through the transformation of the telecommunication antenna to a professional radiotelescope able to operate both as (a) a stand alone single dish and also (b) linked in the Very Long Baseline Interferometry (eg. EVN, VLBI)
• Probing geodetic studies in the earthquake active region of Greece
The Center of Satellite Communications at the region of Thermopile will become a professional Center for research and educational activities:
- Organizing national and international scientific conferences and workshops as well as educational courses for national and international students
- Actions will be taken to disseminate research results to the general public.
- The popularization and educational activities aim to familiarize students of primary and secondary education with the scientific fields of Radioastronomy (invisible astronomy) and RF technology. All these will act as an inspirational drive for new scientists
- Transforming the telecommunications antenna into a professional radiotelescope will inevitably result in new fields of applications which could contribute to the development of the Hellenic Industry.
The corresponding announcement from COSMOTE website can be found here.