FNWI --- IMAPP Department of Astrophysics
Radboud University > Faculty of Science > Department of Astrophysics


Ulrich J. Schwarz Radio interferometer

20120629_radio_telescoop_fnwi-dickvanaalst.jpg The Astrophysics Department owns their own radio telescope, a 2-element radio interferometer, which is located on the roof of the Huygens building. This makes the Radboud University the only university in the Netherlands with their own radio interferometer. The Radio Interferometer (RIF) consists of two 3.5m dishes and is used for teaching and student projects. It was completely refurbished in 2011/2012, where both the mechanics and the electronics of the Radio Interferometer have been comp letely renewed. The RIF was re-opened on 29 June 2012, where it was renamed the Ulrich J. Schwarz Radio Interferometer.

The Netherlands has always been at the forefront of radio astronomy. This started first with the 25-meter Dwingeloo Telescope in the fifties and sixties, then the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope consisting of 14 x 25-meter telescope dishes since the seventies, a nd now the Low Frequency Array LOFAR. The RIF contributes to training of the next generation Dutch and Dutch-educated radio astronomers and as such helps to maintain the leading Dutch position in worldwide radio astronomy.

Ulrich J. Schwarz

Ulrich Schwarz is a pioneer of radio astronomy, who moved from his native Switzerland to the Netherlands to be involved in the first generation of radio telescopes. These included the Dwingeloo telescope and the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope array. He also pioneered interferometry at the Parkes radio telescope in Australia. Through the effort of early pioneers such as Ulrich Schwarz, the Netherlands is today among the most pre-eminent countries in radio astronomy in the world.

After his retirement and move to Arnhem, Ulrich became the guardian of the Radio Interferometer at the Radboud University Nijmegen. He supervised the use of the Radio Interferometer within the physics student curriculum. During the move to the new Huygens-building he provided the inspiration and overview for the complete refurbishm ent of the Radio Interferometer.

For an overview of Ulrich's life and career, please find the presentation given by Hugo van Woerden during the renaming of the radio interferometer here.

User Manual

A copy of the user manual can be found here.