Technology

In order to achieve the Science Objectives of the EHT, it is necessary to push the envelope of technology on a variety of different fronts.

Enhancing the Sensitivity of the EHT

Data collection at higher bandwidths - The sensitivity of an array increases with increasing bandwidths. Traditionally radio astronomy has relied on analog electronics to gather and record data. The substantial and ongoing increase in the computational capacity and affordability of modern day digital electronics now allows us to gather and record much larger bandwidths at a fraction of the cost of earlier systems.

Increase in telescope aperture - The sensitivity of an array increases with increasing telescope aperture. We are constantly adding new telescopes to the EHT. In addition, some of the EHT sites host multiple telescopes with comparatively short separations between them. These telescopes can be phased up to sum up their signals and make an effectively larger telescope.

Dual polarization observations - The energy content of cosmic radiation is split between two polarizations . A typical radio astronomy receptor can receive radiation in only one of these polarizations. Many modern telescopes use two separate receiving systems to detect all of the incident energy. The availability of these modern systems will boost the sensitivity of the EHT. Furthermore, the polarization of the received radiation also contains information about the details of the emission around the black holes.


Improving the Resolution of the EHT

Building a larger array - As the separation between the telescopes comprising an array is increased, the array becomes able to discern finer and finer features in the emission. We have been adding new telescopes to the EHT to build an array with a footprint approaching the size of the Earth.

Moving towards higher observing frequencies - The resolution of the array improves with increasing observing frequency. The EHT is pushing towards observing at higher frequencies to exploit this advantage.