A simulation for Radio Telescope Training

When the radio télescope du Parc de La Villette rehabilitation is completed it will be possible to perform a remote control via Internet connexions. Using an astronomy software like « Stellarium » or « Skychart » it will be possible to connect the radiotelescope and choose a specific « radio source » then click on GoTo to ask the antenna to move toward the specified target and to perform a follow up while the Earth is slowly rotating. Then it will be possible to record the signal from the radio source in orfer to perform scientific observations.

Another part of the project includes contacts between hamradio stations far away from each other, thanks to signal reflection on the moon surface and back toward the Earth. For this scope the telescope must be oriented toward the moon and must follow its movement in the sky.

Third « mission » dedicated to the radiotelescope is to use the antenna for communications via geostationnary QO-100 hamradio satellite. We will take advantage of the high antenna gain even on 2.4 GHz due to its surface to use a limited amount of transmission power to enter satellite transponder.

For the present time, while the antenna motorization is being repaired, it is still possible to play with the telescope. By using a dummy telescope software, antenna movements are achieved by simulating telescope response to astronomy applications. The server transmits target coordinates to the software driver who computes necessary motors activation. The driver receives in turn the antenna position information from the simulator software as if the radiotelescope was actually moving. This information is sent back to the client astronomy software that displays telescope movement as if the antenna was actually moving.

Here is how to perform training with radiotelescope. Download and install Skychart astronomy software (Windows 4.0 version works well for this simulation). On menu bar click on « Télescope » and « Paramètres du Télescope« . Click on menu « Télescope« , validate « Pilote INDI » and write in front of Serveur INDI the Internet telescope address : radiotelescope-lavillette.fr. Choose telescope location (France and Paris city).

The server port is 7624 by default. Click on « Connect and get device list« . In the window on line « Nom de télescope » should appear : « Radiotelescope – La Villette ». The box « Use the internal INDI GUI pannel » should be validated. Click on Appliquer then on OK.

Go back to main menu and click on « Télescope » , « Connect le télescope« . In the new window click on « Connecter« . The red square should become green. In the same window click on INDI gui. A new window will open. Arrange and widen the windows down. On the sky map click on a « source » target and then click in menu « Télescope » on « Go To« . The telescope may refuse to move if the source is out of view. By clicking on numbers in the right it is possible to zoom. Once the antenna reached the target, the telescope switch to tracking mode. A demonstration of all commands explained previously may be visualized on this video : http://f6bvp.free.fr/VP/Film1.mp4

Let us know your remarks and observations. Good simulation !

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