Article | December 20, 2021

Out Of This World: Solid State PAs Help Power Space Exploration

Source: Qorvo

Nestled in the radio-silent hills of West Virginia stands a brilliant, star-gazing giant: The Green Bank Telescope, aka GBT, aka “Great Big Telescope” or “Great Big Thing.” GBT is the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope and has been visited by more than 900 scientists in the past five years. Why? Because GBT is exceptionally accurate and versatile. According to National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), the suite of receivers covers 100 MHz to 100 GHz in frequencies, its processors can spot nanosecond timing differences in data. It's also able to access 85 percent of the local celestial hemisphere. Its surface — a 2.3-acre area — is perfectly smooth to a noise level of 260 microns (5 human hairs). And the observations can be made in, truly, a radio-silent environment. It's located within the Green Bank Observatory Radio Quiet Zone, which allows for the detection of faint radio-frequency signals which man-made signals might otherwise mask. The observatory borders National Forest land, and the Allegheny Mountains shield it from some radio interference.

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