Radio interferometry lectures – David Wilner, Harvard CfA – Google Hangout

David Wilner is the Associate Director of the Radio & Geoastronomy Division at the Harvard Center for Astrophysics, and an expert in circumstellar disks, the formation of planets, and the development of aperture synthesis techniques.

He’ll be giving us two lectures on consecutive weeks:

Title: Radio Astronomy and Interferometry Fundamentals
Date: 2pm (AEDT) Thursday 19th February

Radio astronomy uses observations at radio wavelengths to study celestial objects. This lecture will provide a brief introduction to radio astronomy, including a description of common emission mechanisms and radio telescopes, and why multiple telescopes are linked as interferometers to make high resolution “aperture synthesis” images (a technique recognized by the 1974 Nobel Prize in Physics). We will use pictures to develop intuition about the Fourier transform relationship between the sky brightness and visibility function that underlies radio interferometry. (A companion lecture will provide a pedagogical introduction to the process by which radio interferometric images are made.)

Title: Imaging and Deconvolution in Radio Interferometry
Date: 2pm (AEDT) Thursday 26th February

Observations with a typical radio interferometer provide incomplete and noisy samples of the Fourier transform of the sky brightness image that we’d like to analyze. This lecture will provide a pedagogical and practical introduction to the process by which radio interferometric images are made, including visibility weighting and tapering schemes and algorithm-based deconvolution methods to deal with inevitable missing samples. We will conclude with a brief discussion of the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, an new radio interferometer with unprecedented imaging capabilities at millimeter wavelengths.

Head over to the ANITA Lecture page for more information on this and recordings of our past lectures: