Advanced Student - Akumu Paul Otieno | Kenya

MPhil | University of Mauritius

Setting up an array of small  parabolic antennas at the MRT site for Radio Astronomy experiments


- Associate Prof. Nalini Heeralall-Issur
(University of Mauritius)

- Dr. Yashwantsing Surman
(University of Mauritius)

- Dr. Kumar Golap
(National Radio Astronomy Observatory)

 - Prof. Avinash A. Deshpande
(Roman Research Institute RRI)

 - Prof. Peter. Wilkinson
(University of Manchester)

Paul is currently working on an MPhil project in setting up an array of parabolic antennas at the MRT site for radio astronomy experiments. The project aims at designing an interferometric array with small parabolic antennas (2 to 6 m in diameter) that can be used for a variety of radio observations and experiments. These will include both synthetic imaging (possibly making use of closure phase), as well as high time-resolution observations. The major objectives of the project include; study mount design customized for local climatic conditions, design of a multi-frequency feed and receiver system and planning for dish layout at the observatory for optimum u-v coverage.

He has a Bachelor of Technology degree in Physics from the Technical University of Kenya. After graduating he worked as a volunteer for the Kenya Ministry of Education in improving education outcomes in rural areas. He then worked in high voltage electrical transmission under a private company before joining the DARA 2017-18 basic training programme. Thereafter he participated in STEM outreach for schools and a development project aimed at kick-starting astrotourism in Kenyan game reserves and parks.

He would like to pursue his MPhil project to PhD level. After completion he would also like to work in academia or any astrophysics research facility. He also has an interest in computing and data analysis and would like to work with the SKA and AVN in the future.