Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, CAS will build a 65m-diameter radio telescope in its Sheshan station in suburban Shanghai with help from the municipal government. It will be completed in 2012 as the largest rotatable radio telescope in Asia, only next to the 110m-diameter telescope based in the United States and the 110m-diameter telescope based in Germany.
The new radio telescope will find application in deep space exploration missions and basic astronomy research. It will also be used in China's lunar exploration program as an important part of China's Very Long Baseline Interferometry (VLBI) array system of radio telescopes.
Currently, the VLBI network in China is composed of four telescopes in shanghai, Beijing, Kunming and Urumqi.
The VLBI successfully carried out orbit determination and positioning in the launching of the lunar obitor Chang'e -1. The 65m-diameter telescope will guide the lunar rover's way to the moon together with other VLBI telescopes when the second phase of the country's lunar exploration program is carried out in 2012.
"We have been making efforts in the past 30 years to develop VLBI technology, and contribute to the international astronomic research," said Shen Zhiqiang, a research professor with the observatory. "We are proud that the technology was used in the lunar exploration."
The telescope will also be included in the East Asia VLBI consortium which consists of 19 radio telescopes so far from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK).