When money is tight, an astronomer’s eye may well alight on a local disused satellite TV station as a possible option to be co-opted as part of a radio telescope array. However, there are rather a limited number of such installations around.
Now, researchers from Nigeria, South Africa, and Namibia writing in the International Journal of Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, discuss the possibility of instead utilising active satellite TV technology equipment.
They point out a collaborative effort to improve astronomy would have the benefit of broadening access to free-to-air satellite TV for the public and would be a boon to astronomers and TV watchers in the developing world alike. Given that many users are already moving away from satellite TV to streaming-based entertainment there could well be spare capacity in those still-active satellite TV earth stations.
The new approach is discussed by A.A. Periola of the Department of Electrical, Electronics and Computer Engineering at Bells University of Technology, in Nigeria, L.A. Akinyemi of the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and S. Sesham of the Department of Electronics and Computer Engineering at the University of Namibia.
Periola, A.A., Akinyemi, L.A. and Sesham, S. (2020) ‘Multi-location anywhere astronomy paradigm’, Int. J. Ad Hoc and Ubiquitous Computing, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp.1–16.