The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope
A single dish of the Westerbork Telescope
A single dish of the Westerbork Telescope

The Westerbork Radio Synthesis Telescope (WSRT), at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy (ASTRON), is an array of 14 parabolic dish antennae working together, and is equivalent in collecting area to a single dish of 94 m in diameter. It is oriented in an east-to-west line and operates at frequencies from 120 MHz to 8.3 GHz. The dishes are equatorially mounted, allowing them to move without changing the orientation of their receivers with respect to the radio source that they are tracking; this simplifies the calibration required to measure the polarisation of the source, which is particularly useful when observing highly polarised pulsar emission.



The view along the WSRT
The view along the WSRT


The WSRT pulsar backend, PuMa-II, produces data in 512 coherently dedispersed frequency channels and 4 polarisation channels. For normal pulsar observations, these cover either a bandwidth of 160 MHz centred on a frequency of 1380 MHz, a bandwidth of 160 MHz centred on 2273 MHz or a bandwidth of 80 MHz centred on 350 MHz. The WSRT observes around 50 millisecond pulsars in its timing programme, recording each one at least once per month and at two or three frequencies. More information is available on the WSRT website.