China officially put into operation the world's largest single-aperture telescope on September 25th. The telescope in Pingtang county, China's Southwestern Guizhou province, is five hundred meters in diameter and equals the size of 30 soccer fields.
Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to scientists, engineers and builders as the world's largest radio telescope was officially put into use in southwest China's Guizhou province on Sunday.
FAST, also called China's eye of heaven, is the world's largest and most sensitive radio telescope. Located in a natural valley in Guizhou, the project's first reflecting panel was installed in August 2015. The FAST's large hemispheric surface is made up of 4,450 1.3-millimeter-thin panels, with a weight ranging from 427 to 482.5 kilograms. Putting the panels together took 11 months.
What’s worth mentioning, the main cable net is designed, manufactured and setted up by Professor Guo Zhengxing and his team from School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University. With the biggest span and highest precision, the FAST Cable Net is the first net in the world to utilize the technology of deflexion. How to improve the cable’s fatigue resistance? How to design the world’s biggest supporting structutre? All these arduous challenges are completed by Professor Guo’s team with creativity and optimism.
FAST's tasks include survey of neutral hydrogen in the space, observation of pulsars as well as spacecraft tracking and communications.Work on the project started in 2011.
(Source: China Daily)