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The SRT technical commissioning paper is online

A paper on the technical commissioning and first light of the Sardinia Radio Telescope has been recently published in the last issue (vol. 04, Dec. 2015) of the prestigious Journal of Astronomical Instrumentation edited by World Scientific Publishing.

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The article (available at http://www.worldscientific.com/toc/jai/04/03n04) has been drafted by almost forty co-authors, among technologists and technicians of INAF and it describes the activity performed on SRT in the period June 2012 – October 2013.

During this phase, the radio telescope, manufactured by MT Mechatronics, has been integrated with the electronic instrumentations and sensors developed within INAF. SRT has moved from a huge mechanical structure with a height of 70-m and a weight of 3000 tons to an advanced system able to detect the faint radio waves coming from the more remote regions of the Universe up to the 3-mm band.

Three microwave receivers operating between 300 MHz and 26 GHz connected to a total-power back-end have been used for the SRT commissioning. Moreover, it has been possible testing the active surface installed in the primary mirror of SRT. The experimental activities have shown performance in good agreement with the expected specifications. In spite of some open issues currently under investigation from the technical staff, SRT is now available to the astronomical community trhough the Early Science Program.