The main tasks of technical service are to ensure continuous operation of radio telescopes RT-32 and RT-16, to ensure that their activities comply with the requirements of the EVN network, and to support the execution of research projects that are being implemented by VIRAC.
Technical service mostly focuses on three main areas:
- Maintenance and development of radio telescopes’ mechanical drive systems. Regular maintenance, repair, and operation control of RT-32 and RT-16 kinematic systems. Cleaning, repairing, and painting of the parabolic antenna’s supporting grid element and inspection of the technical condition.
- Maintenance of radio telescopes’ drive control equipment, systems. Maintenance and repair of RT-32 and RT-16 drive control systems, their operational compliance control, and improvement of functionality.
- Automation of observations of radio astronomical radiation meeting the requirements of the EVN network. Configuration of field system components; the digitalisation, formatting, storage, and transferring of radio astronomic data. The development of observation procedure scripts and compliance with EVN network requirements and provisions. The provision of automated observations of galactic masers and active galactic core in single antenna mode.
- Operation control, repair, and reception of RT-32 and RT-16 cryogenic receivers. Maintenance of low-temperature cryostat and He systems. The calibration of radio telescopes’ antenna parameters and receivers. The calibration and development of L-band and S-band receivers.
- Maintenance of radio telescope complex power supply system. Maintenance, operation control, and technical modernisation of automated electrical energy storage system established in order to ensure continuous operation of RT-32 and RT-16.
- Maintenance and development of computer hardware and data transmission network. Maintenance, configuration, and repair of radio telescopes’ drive control, receiver control, weather station, and users’ computer systems. The maintenance of data transmission local and global network access devices and data safety systems.
- Provision of radio telescope operator services. Conducting radio astronomical observations according to the approved observation schedule, signal registration, data compliance control, and data storage. The provision of observations takes place 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
- Surveillance of Irbene territory. The continuous physical presence of personnel in the Irbene complex, surveillance of territory, and control of critical infrastructure facilities.
- Coordination of tourism and visitors. Creating and replenishing exhibition with additional features. Coordination of excursions, supervision of guides, accounting of revenue.