Most other branches of observational astronomy require the building of new telescopes in order to achieve significant improvements in observing capability - this contrasts with the situation in radio astronomy. Here the fast pace in worldwide technological developments has made new basic technologies available which in turn make new receiver concepts possible. As a result one can now plan to greatly enhance the capabilities of existing radio telescopes without changing the basic infrastructure. However to bring the new technologies to bear requires an appropriate level of specific development and this is the foundation of this Joint Research Activity.
The key objective of PHAROS is to continue, and bring to fruition, some of the strategic research, begun in the FP5 RTD programme FARADAY (HPRI-CT-2001-50031). It is essentially a technologically-intensive follow-on from that part of FARADAY which we judge to have the greatest long-term potential. The aim is to produce affordable, low-noise, phased receiver arrays to be installed at the foci of large radio telescopes. In a phased array, the receivers are interconnected so that multiple beams can be synthesised and steered electronically. By collecting and then manipulating the entire electric field in the focal plane such arrays can simultaneously offer improvements in the efficiency and effectiveness of existing telescopes and open up the widest possible field-of-view.
The PHAROS Principle Investigator is J. G. bij de Vaate (ASTRON)
More information can be found on the wiki page PHAROSWikiPage.