Synthetic aperture radio telescopes

Ronny Levanda*, Amir Leshem

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Next-generation radio telescopes will be much larger, more sensitive, have a much larger observation bandwidth, and will be capable of pointing multiple beams simultaneously. Obtaining the sensitivity, resolution, and dynamic range supported by the receivers requires the development of new signal processing techniques for array and atmospheric calibration as well as new imaging techniques that are both more accurate and computationally efficient since data volumes will be much larger. This article provides an overview of existing image formation techniques and outlines some of the directions needed for information extraction from future radio telescopes. We describe the imaging process from measurement equation until deconvolution, both as a Fourier inversion problem and as an array processing estimation problem. The latter formulation enables the development of more advanced techniques based on state-of-the-art array processing. We also demonstrate the techniques on simulated and measured radio telescope data.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number5355493
Pages (from-to)14-29
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Signal Processing Magazine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank T. Clarke, H. Intema, H. Rottgering, and S. Wijnholds for providing the data used to demonstrate the various techniques, Seth Shostak and the SETI Institute for providing the photo of the Allen telescope array, and NRAO for permission to use VLA images. We would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the guest editor A-J. van der Veen for comments that significantly enhanced the presentation. Amir Leshem was partially supported by NWO-STW grants 10459 and DTC.5893 (VICI-SPCOM).


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