Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) at Arecibo

Arecibo presently supports VLBI for up to a maximum of 4% of its astronomy observing time. A hydrogen maser frequency standard is available for VLBI, this being a unit from Symmetricon Inc., (Model No. MHM2010.) For information on this unit see:
The maser also serves as the Observatory master clock.

Arecibo is equipped with a VLBA4 Data-Acquisition Rack and Mark-5A, plus an RDBE digital backend and Mark-5C, VLBI recording systems. These are compatible with the HSA, EVN and Global networks, plus operations with the RadioAstron 10-m diameter orbital VLBI dish. The 305-m telescope is available for scheduling with any of these. Any proposer wishing to include the 305-m telecope in their VLBI observations should submit a proposal to the HSA, EVN or Global networks as usual, rather than to Arecibo. All proposals should contain special justification for inclusion of Arecibo. (Observations with ``ad-hoc'' arrays will also be considered. In this case, proposals should be submitted to Arecibo as specified at is the proposers' responsibility to ensure that telescope time be granted by all observing facilities involved.)

From 2004, Arecibo has used a VLBA4 Data-Acquisition Rack, together with a Mark-5A disk-based VLBI recording system. This allows up to a 1 GBit/s data recording rate. The Mark-5A system also allows Arecibo to participate in real-time e-VLBI with EVN. The addition of an RDBE VLBI digital backend, and Mk5C recorders occurred in 2012. This system permits standard data recording rates of 2-GBit/s.

Robert Minchin 2017-10-30