NARIT joins hands with FAST to strengthen Thai radio Astronomy.

March 11, 2017

Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), Guizhou Province, PRC.

NARIT led by Prof. Boonrucksar Soonthornthum, NARIT Executive Director put Thailand’s radio telescope to a new level as NARIT team visited the Five-hundred-metre Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) in Guizhou Province, PRC as part of their expedition to NAOC. The team was greeted by the executives of NAOC and FAST and an introduction of FAST was presented by Prof. Di Li, Deputy Director of FAST project and Project Scientist.


FAST is a Chinese mega-science project to build the largest single dish radio telescope in the world. It is aspired to supersede Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico whose dish stands for 300 metres in diameter. FAST offers its innovations as the followings; 1) and active surface with more than 4450 adjustable panels to realize pointing and tracking as the world’s largest steerable antenna under 3 GHz; 2) a light-weight cabin driven by 6 cables and servo-motors under closed-loop control up to a precision range of 5 decades; 3) a site of deep Karst depression situated in mountains, which helps shield radio frequency interference (RFI).



The potential of discoveries of FAST include thousands of new pulsars, new HI galaxies, OH mega-masers, new component of the molecular universe and many more.



The MoU between NARIT and NAOC is scheduled to be inked at the site of FAST early next month (April). Radio Astronomy development in Thailand is one of the main highlights in the said MoU as a mechanism in developing Thailand’s first infrastructure and the manpower in the field. “It is evidently envisaged that China is one of the leading key players in radio astronomy. We shall benefit immensely from this MoU as a platform to push the frontiers in radio astronomy for our country in the long run” said the Executive Director of NARIT.