On November 4, the National Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences held a press conference to announce that China Sky Eye (FAST) has been operating steadily and reliably since its acceptance in January this year, and has nearly doubled its expected design target when it has observed more than 5,200 machines in the past year. Up to now, FAST has found more than 240 pulsar, and more than 40 high-level papers have been published based on FAST data. FAST’s research results on rapid radio storms were published in the international scientific journal Nature in the early hours of The 5th.
In February, the FAST team overcame the impact of the outbreak to officially launch five “priority and major projects” selected by the Scientific Committee, and nearly a hundred scientists began using and processing FAST’s scientific data.
“In April this year, the Time Allocation Committee began soliciting free applications from the domestic astronomical community, and has received more than 170 applications, with a total application time of about 5,500 hours, and only 30% of the 1,500 machines actually approved can be supported, which shows that the FAST telescope observation time competition is quite fierce.” Chang Jin, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and director of the National Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said.
Fast, which was completed in 2016, has a reflective surface area comparable to about 30 standard football fieldes and is the world’s most sensitive single-caliber radio telescope, greatly expanding the human field of vision and giving Chinese astronomers the opportunity to be at the forefront of radio astronomy research.
Changjin said FAST’s new design concept pioneered a new model for building giant telescopes, pushing the engineering limits of the traditional fully mTable radio telescope by about 100 meters, while also bringing great technical challenges.
FAST’s huge reflective surface can be adjusted in real time according to the position of the object, 30 tons of feed chamber at an altitude of 140 meters, 206 meters range movement, all control accuracy to reach the millimeter level. The huge engineering mass, ultra-high precision requirements and special working methods make FAST face unprecedented technical challenges.
To this end, the engineering team carried out a series of technical problems, overcoming mechanical, measurement, control, materials, large-scale structure and many other fields of technical problems.
The engineering team developed a steel rope with ultra-high fatigue resistance characteristics, which exceeds 2.5 times the domestic and international standard specifications, innovatively adopted the two-stage adjustment mechanism consisting of the world’s largest span flexible and conceded robot and rigid 6 degrees of freedom juxcale robot to achieve high-precision positioning of the feed average root value of 10 mm, and creatively integrated satellite positioning, inertial guidance and station-wide measurement techniques to achieve all-weather, large-scale, high-precision, high-sampling system support.
Fast science potential is emerging as performance improves. “FAST’s sensitivity is more than 2.5 times that of the world’s second largest single-caliber radio telescope, and this is the first time that a Chinese-built radio telescope has reached the highest point in the world on the important indicator of sensitivity, which is of great significance for promoting a major original breakthrough in astronomy in China.” Jiang Peng, executive deputy director and chief engineer of the FAST Operations and Development Center, said that ultra-high sensitivity has great potential in the source of radio transients, and it is expected to realize Nahz’s gravitational wave detection in a short period of time, capture the original gravitational waves during the Big Bang period, and provide data support for the study of the physical processes of the first moments of the Big Bang.
At the same time, FAST also has the ability to extend China’s deep space exploration and communication capabilities to the edge of the solar system to meet the country’s major strategic needs.
China Tian-eye FAST is a people’s scientist, the times model Mr. Nan Rendong in the 1990s put forward the idea, took more than 20 years to build the completion of the giant radio telescope, before and after four generations of hundreds of scientific researchers went to follow up for fast construction and commissioning operation has made great efforts.