Introduction to radio astronomy

The topic of this video also forms part of the introduction to interferometry series of talks presented in the SARAO African Radio Interferometry Winter School.

About the Presenter:

Justin was born in London and emigrated to South Africa with his parents in 1965. He attended school in Uitenhage, matriculating from Muir College in  1975, and enrolled at Rhodes University for a BSc degree in 1976. All of his tertiary degrees were obtained from Rhodes University, culminating in a PhD in Radio Astronomy in 1999. His PhD topic was the Rhodes/HartRAO 2.3 GHz radio continuum survey of the Milky Way. He has worked in the Department of Physics and Electronics at Rhodes University since 1981, starting as a research technician and progressing through the researcher and lecturer ranks, and was appointed as Professor of Physics and Electronics in 2001. From 2003 till 2006 he was seconded to be the Managing Director of the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO), a post he again held temporarily during 2017/2018. He is currently the Chief Technologist for the South African Radio Astronomy Observatory (SARAO), which is a joint appointment with Rhodes University. At Rhodes he is the Director of the Centre for Radio Astronomy Techniques and Technologies (RATT), the host for the SARAO Research Chair held by Prof Oleg Smirnov. He is the recipient of the 2019 Rhodes University Vice Chancellor’s Distinguished Achievement Award. He has been closely associated with the international Square Kilometre Array (SKA) project since 2001, and was the technical lead for the SKA South Africa team from 2003 until the formation of SARAO. He was responsible for the

technical aspects of Africa’s proposal to host the SKA, has been intimately involved in the design and construction of the MeerKAT radio telescope and its precursors, and he sits on the Science and Engineering Advisory Committee (SEAC) of the SKA Observatory. His professional interests include all aspects of observational Radio Astronomy, from instrument design through to data processing, and the radio emission from the Milky Way and radio transients and pulsars. Recreational activities include hiking, road and trail running, mountain biking, dinghy and windsurf sailing, tinkering in his carpentry and metal workshops, and model boat building. He has recently acted as technical advisor to the National Ventilator Project (NVP), an intervention by the South African government to manufacture respiratory support devices to respond to the emergency need created by the Covid-19 pandemic.