Fast Fourier Transform Telescope


Fast Fourier Transform Telescope

"Fast Fourier Transform Telescope" is Max Tegmark's name for an all-digital synthetic-aperture telescope.

In 1868, Hippolyte Fizeau realized that the lenses and mirrors in a telescope perform a physical approximation of a Fourier transform.Fact|date=October 2008 He noted that by using an array of small instruments it would be possible to measure the diameter of a star with the same precision as a single telescope which was as large as the whole array — a technique which later became known as astronomical interferometry. See History of astronomical interferometry.

In 2008, Tegmark proposed that the lenses and mirrors could be dispensed with altogether when computers become fast enough to perform all the necessary transforms. His concept is an all-digital telescope with an antenna consisting of a rectangular grid. Building radio telescopes this way should become feasible within a few years if Moore's law continues to hold. Eventually optical telescopes could also be built this way.Fact|date=October 2008 This technique is already being used in radar applications.

ee also

* Aperture synthesis
* Interferometric synthetic aperture radar
* Inverse synthetic aperture radar
* Synthetic aperture radar

References

* [http://arxiv.org/abs/0805.4414 The Fast Fourier Transform Telescope]
* [http://space.newscientist.com/article/mg19926752.100-ultimate-telescope-could-take-astronomers-back-in-time.html New Scientist article, issue 2675, 24 September 2008]


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