Radio astronomy is a fundamental tool in the investigation of our universe providing information on the composition and dynamics of stellar bodies. It can also assist us in understanding our planet Earth by careful measurement of its motion through space. Radio antennas can be constructed on a much larger scale than optical systems enabling them to see father into the universe.
Operating at radio frequency, a giant parabolic collector focuses electromagnetic radiation towards the focus cabin mounted on four legs above the surface. The efficiency gained by the large reflecting surface enables the telescope to receive communications signals from Mars and to determine precisely the location of the telescope with respect to Pulsars in neighboring star systems. ARO was the first observatory to demonstrate Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), a technology that measures continental drift and provides other high precision geodetic data. To view a short video discussing radio telescopes and ARO released by the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa click here for English version and here for the French version.