China's Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST), the world's largest single dish telescope, has discovered over 740 pulsars, said Jiang Peng, chief engineer of the telescope and a deputy to the 14th National People's Congress, at an interview on Tuesday.
In the past two years, FAST has covered almost all the scientific objectives it was designed for, including pulsar physics, fast radio bursts, including neutral hydrogen, galaxy formation and evolution, Jiang noted.
Jiang said his team had also experienced a disastrous risk,that is the fatigue performance of cable that has never been solved worldwide. Due to the special working mode of FAST, the 500-meter span cable network often changed frequently between the sphere and the paraboloid, resulting in long-term fatigue stress of up to 500 mpa, more than 2.5 times that of traditional regulations.
Jiang and his team improved almost all the key manufacturing processes after hundred times of failures and various experiments and tests around the country day and night. It took them nearly two years to finally develop the ultra-high fatigue resistance steel cable suitable for the finished product of FAST, which played a decisive role in the timely completion of the telescope.
"I am extremely fortunate to have dedicated myself to this legendary project," he said. "If we turn our gaze toward the future, we must remain sufficiently clear-headed and push forward the planning and construction of the pilot array as soon as possible, solve some key technical problems, and continuously improve the performance of the telescope," he said.
"Only in this way can we possibly maintain the hard-won leading advantage of FAST amid fierce international competition," he added. (ECNS)
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