Dissertation in the field of radio astronomy, Guifré Molera Calvés
27.04.2012 / 12:00
Guifré Molera Calvés´s dissertation takes place at Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering on Friday 27th April 2012 at 12 noon. The title of the thesis is “Radio spectroscopy and space science with VLBI radio telescopes for Solar System research”.
Exploiting radio telescopes and spacecraft in the planetary research of our Solar System
Secrets of the universe have fascinated people since ancient times. Even so, our knowledge of the universe and our Solar System is still relatively limited. Therefore new technologies and methods for studying the universe are being developed all the time. The Aalto University Metsähovi Radio Observatory is the most prominent centre for radio astronomy in Finland with its 14-metre, high-resolution dish radio telescope. The observations presented in this dissertation were done using that and other European antennas.
Several scientific projects in the field of radio astronomy were carried out and are described in this dissertation. Several radio observations were conducted in order to study exciting phenomena in our Solar System. The targets include the search for evidence of water on the moons of Saturn, the search for carbon-sulphide emission in the atmospheres of Venus and Saturn, and the attempt to detect electrical discharges in the strong dust storms on Mars.
In this thesis the author demonstrates the design and applications of a new multi-purpose, multi-disciplinary method with which planetary science spacecraft can be accurately tracked. The novel method provides ultra-precise estimates of the position and velocity of the spacecraft, obtained from a phase-referenced network of several radio telescopes located worldwide (also known as the Very Long Baseline Interferometry technique) and Doppler measurements.
The applications of the method cover a large field of fundamental physics. For instance, the author conducted a large campaign studying the phase fluctuations of the spacecraft signal due to its propagation in the solar wind.
Opponent: Doctor Franco Mantovani (Istituto di Radioastronomia, Italy)
Supervisor: Professor Martti Hallikainen, Aalto University School of Electrical Engineering, Department of Radio Science and Engineering.
For more information:
Electronic disseration thesis (otalib.aalto.fi)
Dissertation release (pdf)