Brexit Britain WIN: World's largest robotic telescope to make UK a science superpower

Brexit Britain WIN: World’s largest robotic telescope to make UK a science superpower

Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) is due to begin building the biggest and fastest robotic telescope in the world, after it was confirmed it will receive £4million in funding from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). LMJU presently owns and operates another big robotic telescope in the Canary Islands, the Liverpool Telescope (LT) which it has run since 2004.

The telescope is controlled by artificial intelligence (AI) and doesn’t require humans to control it, meaning that it can help the Liverpool astronomers explore the far reaches of the universe at a rapid pace.

But by building the biggest and largest telescope of this kind in the world, British astronomers will be able to find out these mysteries even quicker than anyone else.

The new telescope will also work on its own by picking objects to observe, and at the heart of this robotic system is a sophisticated algorithm.

The funding to build the record-breaking robotic telescope, according to an expert, proves the UK has what it takes to be world leader in space science.

The telescopes will also be set up in the Canary Islands and will cost a staggering £24million.

It is set to measure four metres across and will be four times more sensitive and 10 times faster than the previous record-holder.

Dr Chris Copperwheat, LT Astronomer in Charge at LJMU, told “Bigger is always better with astronomy, but our design goal from day one was not to just be bigger but also to be faster.

“It’s always a bit of a race to get their first, think of it like a crime scene.

“When you have a robotic controller and no humans there you get the earliest insight.”

According to the expert, this is an area where the UK is presently at the forefront and where others trying to catch up.

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“It plays to some of our core strengths. This time domain science is a UK strength in our universities and AI and robotics which are also UK strengths and areas we are involved with in a core way.

“We use UK manufacturers to build different parts and the current telescope was built in Merseyside.

“Part of the new telescope will be built in the UK too and we have a number of Universities in the North-West of the UK involved.”

Published at Sun, 19 Sep 2021 09:00:00 +0000

This story originally posted here

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