Data Acquisition
Radio Source
VLBA Antenna
Overview of signal path: upper left, radio source; upper right, correlator; lower right, output media; lower left, Mark5 disk recorder; center, radio telescope

The Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) is an aperture synthesis radio telescope consisting of ten 25-meter antennas located throughout the United States. The goal of this presentation is to introduce how the radio signal emminating from an astronomical source is processed through the VLBA system.

This Introduction section will provide very basic information concerning radio astronomy and a typical VLBA antenna. The Antenna section will go into more detail on the antenna elements that make up the signal path. The Data Acquisition section presents information on how the astronomical signal is recorded to tape or disk pack. Finally, the Correlator section details how the astronomical data is recovered and processed to create an output tape that astronomers use to make discoveries about the universe around us.

The yellow line in each section represents the signal path through the system.