Second Progress report of INTAS-IA-2001-02:
BEAR LAKES RT-64. VLBI site for Astronomy, Astrometry and Geodynamics (reported period March 2003 - June 2004).
Project coordinator: Mr. Igor Molotov
The Infrastructure Action (IA) is directed on keeping in operation of old Russian 64-m dish radio telescope at Bear Lakes (near Moscow) that is one from biggest antenna of New Independent States (NIS) and which was fruitfully used in the Science during more than 15 years. It was planned to upgrade its technical performances to modern level and provide the simple access to this unique facility for large groups of scientists in the NIS and INTAS countries. It was supposed to fulfil the following works: to found the special administrative structures, to organize the verification of current condition of antenna construction and infrastructure and their rehabilitation where it will be necessary, to equip with modern radio astronomy apparatus, to demonstrate the capabilities of the antenna to perform the high level radio astronomy researches.
Unfortunately the financing of this action was interrupted by INTAS due to incorrect solution of project host organization (Astro Space Center of P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute). Nevertheless there is a ground to continue the infrastructure action in other host organization - Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo, because of this project is vitally important for the NIS countries science. In fact, Bear Lakes RT-64 is a single large radio telescope of the NIS that performs the VLBI observations routinely (i.e. another Russian RT-64 in Kalyazin have not VLBI equipment compatible with working correlators, Ukrainian RT-70 in Evpatoria have not own VLBI team). These VLBI observations are carried out by the Bear Lakes Radio Astronomical Station (BLRAS) that was arranged under this INTAS project as administrative structure of Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo. Moreover the BLRAS manages the international VLBI observations of the Low Frequency VLBI Network (LFVN) that joints few radio telescopes in Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Latvia and China. LFVN is a single VLBI network around the world which operates under requests of the NIS scientists mostly. So, the activity of BLRAS allows to really serve the interests of a wider NIS scientific community. The work on fulfilment of IA aims was continued during one year after cessation of INTAS financing thank to support of participating team organizations from their own money and partial support of another grants. And this work was highly evaluated: the obtained results were included in the list of main results of Russian academy of sciences for 2003. Section: Astronomy. Space Researches. Subsection: Astronomical instruments and methods. "The new VLBI site of LFVN network was putted in operation on base of RT-64 radio telescope in Bear Lakes. The observations of VLBI network at 18-cm and 6-cm wavelengths allowed to reconstruct the images of quasars and lacertides, to realize the VLBI radio location of surface of Mars, to determine the orbits, sizes and proper rotation parameters for number of high-orbit space objects." (Authors: Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo, Special Research Bureau of Moscow Power Engineering Institute and Radio physical Research Institute). Moreover, in 2004, Russian Academy of Sciences first time released 16 kEuro for arranging of BLRAS activity, Russian Ministry of Education and Science approved the proposal for purchasing of new H-masers for Bear Lakes RT-64.
At the same time there is a list of works of the IA Work Program that cannot be fulfilled without of continuation of the INTAS financial. I.e. there is biggest lag in the goal of improving of international collaboration of Bear Lakes RT-64. There are no possibility to purchase the key elements of VLBI apparatuses to provide compatibility with international VLBI community - Mk-5 recording terminal, large bandwidth base band converter and computer with Field System. In fact, activities of BLRAS and LFVN are all more reserved inside of the NIS countries. The continuation of the Infrastructure Action will allow to remove this flaw and to start the real collaboration with European VLBI Network and with International VLBI service.
1.1. Overview of Research Activities / Conformance with the Work Programme)
Task 1. - Forming of MTG and AAG
The task is fulfilled.
The agreement between Special Research Bureau (SRB) of Moscow Power Engineering Institute and Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo (CAO) of Russian Academy of Sciences was signed in September 26, 2002 to establish of Bear Lakes Radio Astronomy Station (BLRAS) as a branch of CAO. Igor Molotov (CAO) is assigned as a head of BLRAS, Valery Saurin (SRB) is assigned as Technical Director of BLRAS according to CAO order N 128-OK from December 06, 2002. Both Management & technical group and Antenna & apparatus group were formed and actively work on the project goals. In addition CAO released four positions to BLRAS staff: two persons (Dr. Alexander Pushkarev and Dr. Edward Ayrapetian) were included in the new BLRAS group for experiment scheduling and observational data processing, and two persons (Ivan Puchinin and Vladimir Jazykov) were incorporated into antenna & apparatus group.
Task 2. - Establishing of ISAC
The task is fulfilled.
The International Scientific Advisory Council was formed and participated in selecting of observing proposals. The current members of ISAC are Dr. Alexander Stepanov (director of Pulkovo observatory, Russia), Dr. Nikolay Dugin (leading scientist of Radio Physical Research Institute, Russia), Dr. Yuri Gorshenkov (head of department of Special Research Bureau of Moscow Power Engineering Institute), Dr. Victor Stepaniants (leading scientist of Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics, Russia), Dr. Igor Chashey (deputy director of Puschino Radio Astronomy Observatory, P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute) Dr. Igor Falkovich (main scientist of Institute of Radio Astronomy, Ukraine), Dr. Alexander Volvach (senior scientist of Crimean Astrophysical Observatory, Ukraine), Dr. Gino Tuccari (vice-chair of technical and operation group of European VLBI Network, Istituto di Radioastronomia, Italy), Dr. Ivar Smeld (leading scientist of Institute of Astronomy of Latvian University, Latvia), Dr. Liu Xiang (leading scientist of Urumqi Astronomical Observatory, China).
Task 3. - Producing of base band converter
The producing of BBC was stopped due to lack of finances.
The BBC is key element of VLBI technique due to it is main responsible apparatus for the sensitivity of VLBI array. Currently Bear Lakes has only 8 MHz bandwidth BBC that prevents to collaboration with international VLBI networks and not allows to realize the high sensitivity of 64-m dish.
The BBC was already partially produced during first project half year by team of Radio Physical Research Institute with assistance of the Latvian team. The common structure and the principal schemes of main blocks were elaborated. The BBC rack consists of two BBC blocks for four channels (2, 4, 6, 8 or 16 MHz each; 128 MHz bandwidth in common), block of BBC local oscillators, block of 8-channels sampler-S2 interface, block of control-measuring equipment. The rack, necessary boxes for future devices and their boards were produced partially.
Task 4. - Ordering of GPS receiver and its installation
The task is fulfilled.
The "Thunderbolt GPS Disciplined Clock" with time precision down to 20 ns was purchased and incorporated in time & frequency service of antenna site. It was successfully used during last two VLBI observations.
Task 5. - Ordering of computer with FS and its installation
The ordering of computer with FS was stopped due to absence of necessary finances.
FS computer is a key element for collaboration with world VLBI community. All VLBI schedules are distributed in FS format and cannot be fulfilled without of FS computer, the same, as VLBI logs for international correlators must be prepared in FS format. The Bear Lakes RT-64 can observe only with LFVN where are used obsolete formats of schedules and logs.
During first half project year, the preliminary negotiations about purchasing of FS computer were carried out with GSFC, USA, but the FS computer was not ordered because of stopping of INTAS financing.
Task 6. - Producing and installation of radio receivers
The task is fulfilled partially.
The producing of three room-temperature (not cooled) radio receivers (for 49 cm, 13 cm and 3.6 cm wavelengths) was finished using the money of INTAS 2001-0669, RFBR 02-02-17568 and RFBR-02-02-39023 grants, money of Special Research Bureau and also private money of Mr. Igor Molotov. The 13/3.6 cm receivers were installed at Bear Lakes RT-64 and successfully tested in April of 2004 using new S/X feed-horn polarizers that were produced for the money of Pulkovo observatory. The installation of 49-cm receiver is planned for autumn of 2004. The new local oscillator of 4500 MHz for 6-cm receiver was produced for the money of Special Research Bureau. The repairing of local oscillator of 1500 MHz for 18-cm wavelength was carried out for the money of Special Research Bureau.
Moreover, the two-channel large bandwidth digital radiomete was purchased by Pulkovo observatory and installed in apparatus room of RT-64. The radiometer allows to record the radio source flux intensity to computer and may be used as during VLBI observations (for taking into account during VLBI post-processing stage), and for single-dish observations.
All existing receivers are one-channel - for one polarization only. The producing of second channel for observations in two polarizations was not started due to lack of finances. The work on producing of the 33 cm receiver and researching the RT-64 performances at 1.35-cm wavelength was not started due to lack of finances.
Task 7. - Ordering of Mk-5 and its installation
The ordering of Mk-5 VLBI recording terminal was stopped due to absence of necessary finances
Mk-5 is a key element to start the cooperation with European VLBI Network. It is modern, PC-disk based, VLBI terminal that allow to perform VLBI in quasi-real time at extra-large frequency bandwidth.
During first half project year, two rounds of preliminary negotiations were carried out with Haystack observatory. The type of necessary Mk-5 terminal is fixed. This is Mk-5B system, which includes Mk-4 formatter.
PC-disk based VLBI recording terminal, which is cheaper, but with much lower capacity, was elaborated and produced for Bear Lakes for the funds of INTAS 2001-0669 in Italy. NRTV (near-real-time-VLBI) terminal allows recording to PC-disk and then translating to Internet the VLBI signals of 48 MHz bandwidth. But NRTV exists now only at 5 antennas of LFVN (Bear Lakes, Noto, Evpatoria, Simeiz and Urumqi). It was installed in Bear Lakes in June of 2003 and tested during two VLBI experiments of LFVN.
Task 8. - Measurement of antenna performances
This work was shorten due to lack of finances.
During first half of project year, the measurements of antenna performances were carried out at 18 cm wavelength before preparing in first project VLBI observations. The increasing of interferences at this frequency band was fixed that may be explained by close erecting of tower for mobile telephone connection "Combelga".
During April of 2004, the limited measurements were arranged at 13 cm wavelength with new receiver. Both antenna performances and interference condition at 13 cm are acceptable.
Task 9. - Verification & rehabilitation of antenna constructions and mechanisms
The task is fulfilled partially.
During first half of project year, the results of all measurements of weight distortions of antenna mirror system were summarized and analysed. The list of possible disrepairs was compiled and ways of their removal was considered, and the proposal on the list of necessary works was prepared. During last year significant part of proposed measures was fulfilled for the money of Special Research Bureau.
Task 10. - Repairing of antenna building and rooms
The task is fulfilled.
The repairing of antenna building and rooms was fulfilled for the money of Special Research Bureau.
Task 11. - Testing & recovering of existing scientific apparatus and cables network
The task is fulfilled.
The cable network of RT-64 was checked, all cables were marked using special labels and common scheme of cable lines was prepared. The testing of local oscillators for 18-cm, 6 cm and 3.6 cm displayed large problems. Therefore local oscillators for 18 cm and 3.6 cm were repaired and new local oscillator for 6 cm was produced. All control-measuring and scientific equipment of VLBI apparatus room was checked and few synthesizers and oscilloscopes that are out of order were fixed. Unfortunately there are no finances for its repairing or exchange. This is vitally important problem now. Three PCs were purchased for the private money of Mr. Igor Molotov - one for e-mail, second for control of NRTV recording terminal, third for control of digital radiometer.
Task 12. - Examination & adjustment of H-maser frequency standards
The task is fulfilled.
The one from two standard was repaired and second standard was adjusted in GNIPI company (N. Novgorod) for the earlier released INTAS money. Both standards were used during last two VLBI experiments. Unfortunately, second standard displays some problem now. Therefore CR2 prepared the proposal to Russian Ministry of Education and Science for purchasing of new two standards. This proposal was approved by Ministry just now.
Task 13. - Start of works for painting of mirror surfaces of antenna
The task is fulfilled partially.
The works on painting of antenna were started during summer of 2003 for the money of Special Research Bureau. The work is fulfilled on 50%.
Task 14. - Organization of Internet access
The task is fulfilled.
The Internet access was organized using optical cable connection to the antenna building and PC computer during first project half year.
The new interface cards for 100 Mbit/s were purchased and installed in April of 2004 for the money of INTAS-01-0669 to provide the possibility of near real-time VLBI (eVLBI). Two test experiments on eVLBI were arranged. During VLBI radar observations the small portions of recorded data from each radio telescope were transferred to correlator in Noto for periodic checking of VLBI apparatus performances and presence of radar echoes. The obtained auto-correlation spectrums of received signals were sent by e-mail from Noto to Evpatoria and Bear Lakes to display the success or failure of each radar scan.
Task 15. - First test co-observing with EVN
This work was stopped due to absence of finance for purchasing the Mk-5 terminal, FS computer and large bandwidth BBC.
Task 16. - Test geodetic VLBI experiments at 13/3.6-cm band
The 13/3.6 cm receivers were produced and installed at Bear Lakes RT-64 in April of 2004.
Pulkovo observatory is now the affiliated organization of International VLBI service (IVS) that coordinates geodetic VLBI observations around the world. And the report on VLBI status of Bear Lakes RT-64 was presented in the General IVS meeting in Canada in January of 2004.
Task 17. - LFVN experiments
The fulfillment of this task was carried out in accordance with the Work Program.
Two VLBI experiments were successfully carried out. First experiment VLBR03.1 was in 23-29 July, 2003 with Mk-2 recording terminal at 6 cm wavelength with participation of Bear Lakes RT-64, Noto RT-32, Evpatoria RT-70, Urumqi RT-25 and Simeiz RT-22. Second experiment VLBR04.1 was in 21-25 June, 2004 with Mk-2 and NRTV recording terminals at 6 cm wavelength with participation of Bear Lakes RT-64, Noto RT-32, Evpatoria RT-70and Simeiz RT-22. The observing programs were compiled by ISAC on base of received requests of NIS and INTAS scientists and then scheduled with BLRAS group for experiment scheduling and observational data processing. Mk-2 tapes are processed in NIRFI-3 correlator of Radio Physical Research Institute in N. Novgorod, the NRTV data will be processed in Noto, Italy using the correlator developed under INTAS 2001-0669. Moreover BLRAS group for experiment scheduling and observational data processing arranged the post-processing of former LFVN experiments. The results on quasar imaging, solar wind and radar measurements were obtained and published in a lot of papers. This work was supported by INTAS 2001-0069, RFBR 02-02-17568 and RFBR-02-02-39023 grants, money of Special research bureau and Pulkovo observatory, and also private money of Mr. Igor Molotov.
Task 18. - Inspection of progress of works
The fulfillment of this task was carried out in accordance with the Work Program.
Dr. Gino Tuccari, technical responsible for the Noto VLBI station of C.N.R. Istituto di Radioastronomia, vice-chair of technical and operation group of European VLBI Network carried out second project inspection in June of 2003. The inspection report was presented at EVN board of directors meeting and then sent to INTAS, and attached to this report.
Dr. Ivar Shmeld, leading scientist of Institute of Astronomy of Latvian University, carried out third project inspection in April of 2004. The inspection report is in preparation.
Bear Lakes Radio Astronomy Station was established and started the routine radio astronomy works with RT-64.
The works carried out by antenna & apparatus group that arranged from representatives of Pulkovo Observatory, Radio Physical Research Institute and Special Research Bureau. Management & technical group provide the elaboration of new radio astronomy equipment and correlation processing of experiments. The Scientific Advisory Council formed the scientific programs on base of requests of NIS scientists, The BLRAS group for scheduling and post-processing prepares the schedules of observations and provide the post-processing of the obtained results.
Bear Lakes RT-64 was equipped with new radio astronomy equipments (radio receivers for S/X band, local oscillator for 6-cm receiver, digital radio meter, GPS-receiver for time service, NRTV terminal for eVLBI in quasi-real time), the former part of equipment was checked, and adjusted or repaired, if necessary (H-masers, local oscillator for 18-cm receiver, cable networks, control-measuring equipment, Mk-2 recorder terminal, base band converter). The RT-64 was connected to Internet by optical cable and existing interface card can provide data rate up to 100 Mbit/s - this is single such radio telescope in the NIS.
The antenna building and rooms were repaired; the work on verification & rehabilitation of antenna constructions and mechanisms is in progress; the painting of antenna was started.
Two VLBI experiments were successfully carried out with Bear Lakes RT-64. First experiment VLBR03.1 was in 23-29 July, 2003 with Mk-2 recording terminal at 6 cm wavelength with participation of Bear Lakes RT-64, Noto RT-32, Evpatoria RT-70, Urumqi RT-25 and Simeiz RT-22. Second experiment VLBR04.1 was in 21-25 June, 2004 with Mk-2 and NRTV recording terminals at 6 cm wavelength with participation of Bear Lakes RT-64, Noto RT-32, Evpatoria RT-70 and Simeiz RT-22. The observing programs were compiled by ISAC on base of received requests of NIS and INTAS scientists and then scheduled with BLRAS group for experiment scheduling and observational data processing. The observing programs included the goals of quasar imaging, solar wind radio sounding and radar research of Mars, Venus, asteroids 2000PH5 and Itokawa, and space debris objects. Mk-2 tapes are processed in NIRFI-3 correlator of Radio Physical Research Institute in N. Novgorod, the NRTV data will be processed in Noto, Italy using the correlator developed under INTAS 2001-0669. Moreover BLRAS group for experiment scheduling and observational data processing arranged the post-processing of former LFVN experiments. The results on quasar imaging, solar wind and radar measurements were obtained and published in a lot of papers.
The obtained results were included in the list of main results of Russian academy of sciences for 2003. Section: Astronomy. Space Researches. Subsection: Astronomical instruments and methods. "The new VLBI site of LFVN network was putted in operation on base of RT-64 radio telescope in Bear Lakes. The observations of VLBI network at 18-cm and 6-cm wavelengths allowed to reconstruct the images of quasars and lacertides, to realize the VLBI radio location of surface of Mars, to determine the orbits, sizes and proper rotation parameters for number of high-orbit space objects." (Authors: Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo, Special Research Bureau of Moscow Power Engineering Institute and Radio physical Research Institute). Moreover, in 2004, Russian Academy of Sciences first time released 16 kEuro for arranging of BLRAS activity (this sum was added to the Pulkovo observatory share of "Non-stationary processes in Universe" grant of Presidium of Russian Academy of Science), Russian Ministry of Education and Science approved the proposal for purchasing of new H-masers for Bear Lakes RT-64.
In fact, the project cooperation is now the VLBI technology development center in the NIS countries. The new VLBI equipment is elaborated, produced in series and installed at the NIS radio telescopes; the new VLBI methods are developed - i.e. near-real time VLBI using Internet or differential VLBI radar technique that combines the classic radar and VLBI methods. NIRFI-3 correlator is a single working correlator in the NIS ("working" is meaning that it regularly processed the VLBI experiments, and produced scientific results that published in open scientific literature - this remarks is necessary due to there are few another Russian teams that try to develop own correlators already during many years, but these devices produced nothing excepting test VLBI fringes only, nobody never not see the publications with their scientific output). Low Frequency VLBI Network is a single VLBI network around the world that serves the interests of the NIS scientists mostly.
The following papers were published:
I. Molotov, A. Kovalenko, V. Samodurov, B. Lipatov, A. Dementiev, A. Antipenko, S. Snegirev, M. Nechaeva, V. Reznikova, V. Altunin, A. Benz, F. Mantovani, C. Stanghellini, G. Tuccari, A. Konovalenko, I. Falkovich, A. Gridin, S. Ananthakrishnan, V. Balasubramanian, M. Sankararaman, X. Hong, X. Huang, L. Shiguang, S. Dougherty, D. Del Rizzo, A. Fink, X. Liu, W. Na, J. Zhang, A. Kus, K. Borkowski, J. Quick, G. Nicolson, I. Shmeld, Y. Koyama, M. Sekido, Yu. Gorshenkov, B. Poperechenko, V. Saurin, G. Ozolins, D. Bezrukov, X. Zhang. International Low-Frequency Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry Network Project Milestones. Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions, Vol. 22, Nos. 4-5, August-October 2003, pp. 743-752.
I. Molotov, A. Konovalenko, V. Agapov, A. Sochilina, B. Lipatov, Yu. Gorshenkov, E. Molotov, G. Tuccari, S. Buttaccio, X. Liu, J. Zhang, X. Hong, X. Huang, A. Kus, K. Borkowski, Z. Sika, V. Abrosimov, A. Tsyukh, V. Samodurov, I. Falkovich, L. Litvinenko, V. Stepaniants, A. Dementiev, A. Antipenko, S. Snegirev, M. Nechaeva, A. Volvach, V. Saurin, A. Pushkarev, A. Deviatkin, I.Guseva, P. Sukhov. Radar Interferometer Measurements of Space Debris using the Evpatoria RT-70 transmitter, Advances in Space Research, 10 pages (in press).
I.E. Molotov. Low Frequency VLBI Network Project, history and first results. Izvestia GAO (in Russian), 2002, 216, 457-470.
I.E. Molotov, A.A. Konovalenko, B.N. Lipatov, G. Tuccari, V.M. Agapov, A.S. Sochilina, I.S. Falkovich, Y.N. Gorshenkov, E.P. Molotov, V.A. Stepaniants, X. Liu,J. Zhang, A.E. Volvach, O.P. Fedorov, A.N. Bukreev, A.M. Tsyukh, V.N. Nesteruk, S.V.Malevinsky, A.F. Dementiev, A.A. Antipenko, S. Buttaccio, C. Nicotra, I.D. Strepka, A.N. Zinoviev, V.P. Saurin, A.B. Pushkarev, M.B. Nechaeva, Z.K. Sika, I.K. Shmeld First results of the space debris radar observations using Evpatoria RT-70 transmitter and Low Frequency VLBI Network. Proceedings of Fifth US-Russian Space Survellance Workshop (24-27 September 2003), Pulkovo, St-Petersburg, Russia, 9 pages (in press).
Gino Tuccari, Igor Molotov, Salvatore Buttaccio, Gaetano Nicotra, Alexander Dementiev, Alexander Konovalenko, Alexis Zinoviev, Yuri Gorshenkov, Xiang Liu, Xiaoyu Hong, Alexander Volvach. A near-real time e-radar/VLBI network. Submitted in Proceedings of the third IVS general meeting, Ottawa, Canada, February 9-11, 2004 (submitted).
Igor Molotov, Yuri Gorshenkov, Alexander Stepanov, Alexander Dementiev, Gino Tuccari, Valerii Saurin, Alexis Zinoviev. VLBI status of the Bear Lakes radio astronomy station. Submitted in Proceedings of the third IVS general meeting, Ottawa, Canada, February 9-11, 2004 (submitted).
Abstracts in proceedings
Molotov Igor, Yurii Gorshenkov, Alexander Stepanov, Boris Lipatov, Gino Tuccari, Valery Saurin, Alexis Zinoviev. VLBI status of the Bear Lakes radio astronomy station. Booklet of the third IVS general meeting, Ottawa, Canada, February 9-11, 2004, Geodetic Survey Division,
Natural Resources Canada, 2004, p. 31.
Tuccari Gino, Igor Molotov, S. Buttaccio, G. Nicotra, B. Lipatov, Alexis Zinoviev, Y. Gorshenkov, L. Xiang, Xiaoyu Hong, Alexander Volvach. A near real time e-radar/VLBI network. Booklet of the third IVS general meeting, Ottawa, Canada, February 9-11, 2004, Geodetic Survey Division, Natural Resources Canada, 2004, p. 40.
ONLY: Jointly by INTAS and NIS Project teams
Paper in an International Journal
Paper in a National Journal *)
Abstract in proceedings (conferences, workshops)
Book, Monograph *)
Internal Report **)
Thesis (MSc, PhD, etc.) *)
*) Indicate the language **) Indicate if a report has not been published purely in order to protect intellectual property rights.
1.3. Impact and Applications (if appropriate)
New VLBI site with one from most in the NIS dish of 64 m diameter started the routine radio astronomy observations in interest of large group of NIS scientists.
The project cooperation is now the VLBI technology development center in the NIS countries that coordinates the activity of Low Frequency VLBI Network, elaborates new VLBI equipment, develops new VLBI methods and support in operation a single working correlator in the NIS.
The techniques of near real time differential VLBI and VLBI radar measurements that are developed under the project meet big interest of various institutions connected with exploration of deep space including European Space Agency and Chinese Lunar program specialists. Mr. Igor Molotov presented invited report "Detection of space debris with VLBI radar technique" in the World Space Congress - 2002 in Houston, USA. Also Mr. Igor Molotov received proposal to present invited key note lecture "Status and plans of the Russian Deep Space Network, with emphasis on the VLBI/delta-DOR techniques" at 18th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics in October of 2004, Munich, Germany. Also the president of Chinese academy of sciences visited Bear Lakes RT-64 in July of 2004.
2.1. Meetings and visits
The regular relations exist between teams of Pulkovo observatory (CO), Special research bureau (CR1) and Radio physical research institute (CR3) by phone and e-mail. Also representatives of CO and CR1 had each week meetings in Bear Lakes.
Ivar Shmeld (CR5) visited Moscow in May for 4 days for the meeting with Igor Molotov (CO),Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1) for discussion of obtained results and possible actions to keep the project in the force.
Gino Tuccari (new CR3) visited Bear Lakes in June for 3 days for inspection of work progress and also for meeting with Igor Molotov (CRO), Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1), Boris Lipatov (CR2) and Alexander Dementiev (CR2) to discuss the questions of near-real time radar VLBI, to install VLBR-interface. After this Gino Tuccari and Igor Molotov visited St-Petersburg for 3 days for meeting with director of Pulkovo observatory to discuss the possibility of IA project continuation and exchange of JIVE team to IRA team.
Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1) visited St. Pustyn in June for 2 days for the meeting with Boris Lipatov (CR2) and Alexander Dementiev (CR2) to discuss the results of negotiation of Gino Tuccari, Igor Molotov and Alexander Stepanov in Pulkovo.
Igor Molotov (CO), Boris Lipatov (CR2) and Alexander Dementiev (CR2) visited Bear Lakes site in July for two-days meeting with Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1) and work on project goal, and then Molotov, Lipatov and Dementiev visited Evpatoria during one week for meeting with Igor Falkovich (CR4) for discussion of the question of radio receiver manufacturing and situation around IA project. Also the project VLBI radar experiment was carried out.
Ivar Shmeld (CR5) and Igor Falkovich (CR4) visited Moscow in October 2003 for 3 days for meeting with Igor Molotov (CRO), and Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1). It were discussed the work plan for second project year and also the possibility of IA project continuation.
Igor Molotov (CO) visited N. Novgorod in March for 2 days for meeting with Alexander Dementiev (CR2), Alexander Antipenko (CR2), Maria Nechaeva (CR2), Nikolay Dugin (CR2) and director of Radio Physical Research Institute, Sergey Snegirev (team leader of CR2) to discuss possibility of continuation of works without Boris Lipatov (leading project scientist was dead in January of 2004), and to prepare the equipping of Bear Lakes RT-64 with S/X receivers.
Igor Molotov (CO), Ivar Shmeld (CR5), Alexander Dementiev (CR2), Alexander Antipenko (CR2), Maria Nechaeva (CR2), Nikolay Dugin (CR2), Alexander Pushkarev (CO), Alexey Zinoviev (CO), Alexander Volvach (CRAO), Vladimir Samodurov (former CO) visited Bear Lakes RT-64 site near Moscow in April for five days meeting with Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1), planning future LFVN activities, learning of NRTV terminals and equipping of RT-64 with S/X receivers. And also the unclear IA project status was discussed. Moreover Dr. Ivar Shmeld made the inspection of project work progress.
Nikolay Dugin (CR2) visited Moscow in June for 1 day meeting with Igor Molotov (CO), Yuriy Gorshenkov (CR1), to discuss the preparing the next VLBI experiment.
Maria Nechaeva (CR2) visited Pulkovo for three days in June of 2004 for the meeting with Alexander Stepanov (CO) the
plans of solar wind researches and future installation at RT-64 of 49-cm radio receiver were discussed.
Number of scientists
Number of person days
West ==> East
East ==> West
West ==> West
East ==> East
Intensity of Collaboration
West <=> East
West <=> West
East <=> East
The very useful stable collaboration exists with Italian team of Dr. Gino Tuccari, Istituto di Radioastronomia with each week relations by e-mail. Dr. Tuccari is technical responsible person for Noto VLBI station and therefore he is an expert in many fields. Coordinator has sent the reports about progress of work and appearing problems and advices of Dr. Tuccari always are very important. Italian team produces the real-time VLBI Interface for Bear Lakes RT-64. Dr. Tuccari proposed the very interesting idea to stimulate VLBI work in the NIS and develops the correlation centre for the processing of future NIS VLBI experiments. Dr. Tuccari introduced of co-ordinator to new interim director of JIVE. He also helped in arranging of first project training VLBI experiment. Dr. Tuccari is ready to be a partner of the project instead of team of JIVE, which not worked, on project tasks.
The strong support to Infrastructure Action was received from the Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo (CAO). CAO arranged Bear Lakes Radio Astronomy Station and invited to Co-ordinator after his discharged from Astro Space Center. CAO already released the positions for four persons in staff of Bear Lakes Radio Astronomy Station, the money for purchasing digital radiometer for BLRAS; also CAO released the money for project visit of CO team. CAO provides scientific goals for BLRAS observations. The CAO director has sent his consent to be a host organization of this project to INTAS.
2.3. Time Schedule
The fulfilment of Infrastructure Action is carried out. The delay of few tasks (3, 5, 7, 8, 15, 16) is explained by cessation of INTAS financing.
The work Program may be fulfilled in the whole, if INTAS financing will be continued.
2.4. Problems encountered
Single, but very large problem exist - the cessation of INTAS project financing.
Co-operation of team members
Transfer of funds
Transfer of goods
2.5. Actions required
For successful continuation of the Action, it is necessary to continue the INTAS financing with two changes of INTAS cooperation agreement:
The host organization of the IA project is changing to be the Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo of Russian Academy of the Science (Astro Space Center of P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute must be removed from cooperation agreement due to it violated the INTAS rules)
It is necessary to include in the project the team of Dr. Gino Tuccari, C.N.R. Istituto di Radioastronomia, Italy instead of the team of Prof,. Richard Schilizzi, JIVE, Netherlands due to very low activity of JIVE team in the project.
3. FINANCES (in EURO1)
All financing of the IA project during of reported period was outside of regular INTAS project financing. The money that was spent during last year for the project aims was released by few grants, Special Research Bureau, Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo, Presidium of Russian Academy of Science and Mr. Igor Molotov. ___________________________________________ 1 To calculate exchange rates you might use the currency converter as provided at http://www.oanda.com/converter/classic, the official converter for EU currencies can be found at http://europa.eu.int/comm/budget/inforeuro/en/index.htm
Activities of teams:
Two big changes occurred during last project year.
Former host project organization, Astro Space Center of P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute refused in establishing of department in Bear Lakes RT-64 and dismissed the project coordinator Mr. Igor Molotov (after refusal of the coordinator to approve the payment of 40% of grant sum for the goals outside of work program of the IA project). In the same time, Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo agreed to establish the Bear Lakes Radio Astronomy Station, to appoint Mr. Igor Molotov as head of BLRAS and to release few positions for BLRAS staff, and indicated the strong wish to be the host organization of the Infrastructure Action project. During last year, Pulkovo Observatory makes all best to adjust the regular radio astronomical work with Bear Lakes RT-64.
The team of Joint Institute for VLBI in the Europe (JIVE) in fact stopped the participation in the action. The JIVE team leader, Prof. Richard Schilizzi, which had interest to the IA project, stepped down as the Director of JIVE to take up the post of Director of the International SKA Project outside of JIVE. New JIVE director, Mikhail Garret solved does not send the letter to INTAS in the support of IA project and stopped any participation of JIVE team up to time when INTAS will pass the judgment in respect of IA project. In the same time, Dr. Gino Tuccari, technical responsible for the Noto VLBI station of Istituto di Radioastronomia, vice-chair of technical and operation group of European VLBI Network, agreed to be included with his IRA team in the IA project instead of JIVE team. During last year team of Dr. Tuccari very actively participated the IA project. Team of Dr. Gino Tuccari can solve all goals of former project JIVE team, and moreover he can assist to CO, CR1 and CR2 teams in solution of another project goals.
The team of Bear Lakes Radio Astronomy Station of Central Astronomical Observatory at Pulkovo (former team of Astro Space Center of P.N. Lebedev Physical Institute) was coordinating the project activities in the whole. The activities on establishing the Radio Astronomical Station on base of 64-m antenna as subdivision of the Central Astronomical Observatory (CAO) at Pulkovo and forming the necessary staff were arranged. The necessary official papers were prepared and signed between CAO and Special Research Bureau of Moscow Power Engineering Institute (SRB). The work on arranging of routine radio astronomy observations with Bear Lakes RT-64 were carried out including the establishing of the International Scientific Advisory Council for preparing of scientific programs, the forming of BLRAS group for experiment scheduling and result post-processing. The producing of digital radiometer was arranged. Three PCs were purchased for the private money of Mr. Igor Molotov - for e-mail server, for control of VLBI recording NRTV terminal, and for control of digital radiometer. Two LFVN experiments were arranged and the results of previous experiments were post-processed. The lot of scientific papers were prepared for publications. The visits to Bear Lakes site of Gino Tuccari, Ivar Shmeld and three delegations of Chinese scientists were arranged, the same as LFVN meeting in April of 2004. The team maintains two NRTV terminals - in Bear Lakes RT-64 and Evpatoria RT-70.
The team of Special Research Bureau of Moscow Power Engineering Institute (SRB) carried out large volume of works. Their representatives were incorporated into staff of BLRAS. The GPS-receiver (Thunderbolt GPS Disciplined Clock) was purchased and integrated with time service of Bear Lakes RT-64. The repairing of the H-masers was arranged, the proposal to Russian Ministry if Education and Science for purchasing of new H-masers was prepared. The new 100 Mbit/s interface Internet cards were installed in PCs of apparatus room of Bear Lakes RT-64. The RT-64 cable network was checked. The S/X band polarizers for antenna feed-horn were produced and together with S/X band receivers installed at antenna cabin. The LO on 4500 MHz for 6-cm receiver was produced, LO for 18-cm receiver was repaired. The work on verification & rehabilitation of antenna constructions and mechanisms was carried out. The antenna building and indoor rooms were repaired, the work on painting of antenna was started The team participated in two LFVN experiment (maintenance of pointing system, H-maser, time service and 6-cm receiver). The measurements of antenna performances and interferences at 13-cm wavelength were carried out.
The team of Radio physical Research Institute (RRI) produced S/X band receivers including the block of secondary frequency conversion, and 49-cm receiver. The scientific equipment of apparatus room of Bear Lakes RT-64 was checked and adjusted where it was possible. The list of devices that need in repairing was compiled. The team participated in arranging and carrying out of two LFVN experiments. The team supports the operations of NIRFI-3 correlator of Mk-2 format that is single working VLBI correlator in the NIS countries. The CR2 developed the method of processing of radar echoes, and VLBR03.1 and partially VLBR04.1 experiments were processed using NIRFI-3 correlator. Also the team post-processed with assistance of CO team the data of previous LFVN experiments in part of solar wind.
The team of Institute of Radio Astronomy of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (IRA) arranged the negotiations with Ukrainian company NPO "Saturn" that has most experience in the NIS in producing of Low Noise Amplifiers (LNA). The agreement about producing of set of LNAs in boxes with thermo-electronic cooling for reasonable prices was obtained during two joint meetings between co-ordinator and representatives of IRA team and NPO "Saturn". The necessary specification of LNAs for different frequency bands was prepared. The pre-payment for first LNA at 3.6/13 cm wavelengths was made. The S/X band LNAs were received and transferred to N. Novgorod for producing of S/X band receivers. The team provided the participation of Evpatoria RT-70 in two LFVN experiments.
The team of Astronomical Institute (AI) of University of Latvia fixed the kind of local oscillators (Motorola's Phase-Locked Loop family) for BBC with necessary performances and place for its purchasing with reasonable price. Also the team participated in elaboration of the digital BBC together with Italian team. Dr. Ivar Shmeld visited Bear Lakes antenna site in April of 2004 for supervising of work progress. The inspection report is in preparation.
The team of C.N.R. Istituto di Radioastronomia (IRA) (instead of team of Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe) was greatly helped during IA project activities. The team elaborated and produced the NRTV (near-real-time VLBI) terminal for Bear Lakes (and also for Noto, Urumqi, Evpatoria, Simeiz), together with Latvian team elaborated the digital BBC. The correlator of NRTV standard is under development in Noto, Italy. The team provided the participation of Noto RT-32 in two LFVN experiments, and arranges the processing of NRTV recorded data. The first in the NIS attempt of eVLBI in quasi-real time was arranged in July of 2003. The proposal for INTAS Infrastructure Action on modernization of LFVN was prepared. Dr. Gino Tuccari visited Bear Lakes antenna site in June of 2003 for supervising of work progress and prepared the Inspection Report. This report was presented to the EVN directors board and then sent to the INTAS.