Radio astronomy in Africa: the case of Ghana
Paper in proceedings, 2015
South Africa has played a leading role in radio astronomy in Africa with the Hartebeesthoek Radio Astronomy Observatory (HartRAO). It continues to make strides with the current seven-dish MeerKAT precursor array (KAT-7), leading to the 64-dish MeerKAT and the giant Square Kilometer Array (SKA), which will be used for transformational radio astronomy research. Ghana, an African partner to the SKA, has been mentored by South Africa over the past six years and will soon emerge in the field of radio astronomy. The country will soon have a science-quality 32m dish converted from a redundant satellite communication antenna. Initially, it will be fitted with 5 GHz and 6.7 GHz receivers to be followed later by a 1.4 - 1.7 GHz receiver. The telescope is being designed for use as a single dish observatory and for participation in the developing African Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) Network (AVN) and the European VLBI Network. Ghana is earmarked to host a remote station during a possible SKA Phase 2. The location of the country on 5 degree north of the Equator gives it the distinct advantage of viewing the entire plane of the Milky Way galaxy and nearly the whole sky. In this article, we present the case of Ghana in the radio astronomy scene and the science/technology that will soon be carried out by engineers and astronomers.