Australia Telescope National Facility
PO Box 76
Epping, NSW 2121, Australia
Radio telescopes in the Asia-Pacific region form a natural network for VLBI observations and have recently formed the Asia-Pacific Telescope (APT) network. This network has the advantage of good north-south resolution and better access to radio sources in the equatorial and southern zones. A brief description of the aims, history, status and plans of the APT network will be presented.
The APT network aims to provide a forum to discuss issues of compatability, sharing resources such as correlators and recorders and other equipment needed for VLBI observations. The ultimate aim of the network is to coordinate and schedule astronomic and geodetic VLBI observations involving telescopes in the Asia-Pacific region.
The establishment of an Asia-Pacific VLBI network was discussed at the Space VLBI meeting in Sydney, Australia (Apr. '91) and the inaugural APT meeting was held at the IAU General Assembly in Buenos Aires (Aug. '91). More APT meetings and workshops were held:
Prior to 1995, VLBI observations on APT telescopes have been organised on an adhoc basis, including astronomy imaging programs in Mk2, Mk3 and S2 formats and standard geodetic and astrometric Mk3 programs. The first scheduled APT network session was held in June 1995, as combined geodetic and astrometric Mk3 observations at 2.3/8.4 GHz. At the APT'95 meeting it was agreed to allocate 6 days/year for scheduling APT observations. In 1996, three APT sessions are planned, with observations at 22, 2.3/8.4, and 1.6 GHz. Proposals will be sought as part of each agency's regular proposal process.
The telescopes of the APT are widely distributed, with major participants in Australia, Japan, China and South Africa. A set of tables is maintained with information on: