China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope, known as FAST, will shortly complete its latest upgrade. The upgrade will help the telescope see even further into space.
The upgrade of FAST, the world's largest single-dish radio telescope, includes adding an advanced 19-beam receiver system to replace the current single-beam version. The new device is expected to be ready in early June.
Jointly developed by Chinese and Australian scientists, the receiver system is the first device of its kind in the world. Weighing 1.2 tons, it is worth more than 20 million yuan (.14 million).
The new receiver will be at least five times more accurate than the old model.
According to Jin Chengjin, chief engineer of the 19-beam receiver system, the receiver will greatly improve the efficiency of the FAST radio telescope, playing a significant role in pulsar-searching and spectral line observation.
With the help of the advanced device, the FAST radio telescope will be able to detect more pulsars and observe the neutral 1.4GHz spectrum from different distances and directions. It could even detect possible alien civilization.