Research and Development

Receiver development

To find out more about receiver development, see the Receivers page.

VLBI instrumentation: FlexBuff

Since 1991, Metsähovi has been one of the few sites worldwide actively constructing and developing new data acquisition systems for Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) observations. Metsähovi took part in a 3-year EC FP7 project called “NEXPReS - Novel EXplorations Pushing Robust e-VLBI Services” (Grant Agreement 261525). The project started in July 2010 and Metsähovi led its Joint Research Activity Work Package WP8, Work Package WP8, originally titled “Provisioning High-Bandwidth, High-Capacity Networked Storage on Demand” but later shortened to FlexBuff, is exploring ways to implement on-demand networked storage to match the multi-Gbps bandwidth and petabyte-class capacity requirements of Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) in a distributed manner. Additionally, the work package addresses the use of such high-capacity storage systems for the data archives of the future.


Two FlexBuffs, Ara and Watt, at Metsähovi.

The resulting prototype systems reach sustained recording speed of 8 Gbps and storage capacity of 72 TB per unit. Today, with simple COTS hardware upgrades, 210 TB per unit can be routinely achieved and sustained speed of 16 Gbps can be expected.

Even though NEXPReS has now ended, we are actively using our FlexBuffs to record and store VLBI data in European VLBI Network (EVN) sessions. The recorded data is transferred via the Internet to the correlator center in Joint Institute for VLBI in Europe (JIVE) to be correlated together with the data from other participating stations.

Software radios

RFI related to radio astronomical observations is also monitored with a software radio developed on site.

Page content by: | Last updated: 15.01.2015.