Array - Resolving Power

hdp160

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Radio telescopes typically point several dishes (sometimes hundreds) towards for example "a single star."
The several weak signals are then combined and fed into ONE receiver.

Does anyone know of any links to web pages describing/detailing this combining technology.

It seems to me that if I pointed several of my satellite dishes towards "one" TV broadcast satellite and somehow combined the signals from these into one single feed there would be an S/N advantage.

I am a radio ham, I have succeeded doing this with Yagi type antennas by phasing the signals.

So here is the rational........ like most people I am only using the signal from one lnb at a time. All my other lnbs are available and not being used so why not "ADD" in their combined value.

Hope this is clear?
 

PaulR

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You're not the only one who has daydreamed on combining several small dishes but at the moment the consensus is that it is still beyond the amateur's reach.

As I understand it the outputs from multiple arrays are stored and then combined using powerful computers so it's not real time. They use highly a precise (atomic?) clock to make sure that all the inputs are in phase and then I suspect that a lot of statistical manipulation of the data goes on.

Musing on use for amateurs you would need the oscillators in all the LNBs to be completely stable and in phase in order for the IF outputs to be in phase. You would then need millimetre accurate co-axial cable lengths before combining the signals.

I'd love to be proved wrong on this BTW!
 

hdp160

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Thank you PaulR, No you missed my point I stated that I am looking for links to technical/professional websites discussing this technology. I am not daydreaming, I have googled obviously but no luck. Probably this topic should be moved to another forum though?
 

PaulR

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Perhaps daydreaming was a bit unfair but musings certainly fit the bill. Have you read this about the Merlin array?

_http://www.merlin.ac.uk/about/layman/merlin.html
 

hdp160

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Thanks PaulR, no I haven't seen that one I'll spend a bit of time reading that one later (usually interesting pages lead into others). I suppose I should have mentioned that along with the satellite, and amateur radio hobbies I'm also into astronomy (amongst too many other things.)
 

Channel Hopper

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hdp160 said:
Thank you PaulR, No you missed my point I stated that I am looking for links to technical/professional websites discussing this technology. I am not daydreaming, I have googled obviously but no luck. Probably this topic should be moved to another forum though?

Another forum ? !!!!!!!!!

Hell no

As an amateur you could always stick up two/three/four Zone 2 dishes and some expensive (and same manufacturer) LNBs stuck on the end, run these through (identical) cable runs to an(other) expensive two/three/four way splitter, just to see what you get is a better signal at the receiver.

The chances are you will with the phase requirements for modern stuff, however the overall gain you get is unlikely to be much better than 2dB, which in most cases is paultry compared to increasing the dish size by 100%, or going up from a 1m dish to just over 1.4m once you take into account the cabling/connectors/skew settings and alighment.

Go and be the first on the forum, and let us know your results.
 

hdp160

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Thanks Channel Hopper (I think?). When ideas fail, words come in very handy........grin ;-)
 

PaulR

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Channel Hopper said:
...which in most cases is paultry...
A play upon words?
Channel Hopper said:
Go and be the first on the forum, and let us know your results.
Oh yes!

There's a fine tradition here of experimentation - sometimes with a positive result. You'll be in good company...
 

Channel Hopper

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PaulR said:
A play upon words?
Oh yes!...

Apologies, I've used, but never posted that word before. (eny1 hear abel 2 reccomend a fulprufe spelchekka ?)
 
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