Inside

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Close up view of telescope base with tour group This red hat group is starting the inside tour - by more climbing! The doors into the cable twister room and into the inside of the building are marked.

Vertical metal cylinder with heavy electrical cables hanging around it Allowing the telescope to rotate raises the issue of managing the cables which come from the focus of the dish into the control room. The cables from the dish rotate with it, whereas those going into the signal processing section do not. This was neatly solved (and I believe the technique was developed in CSIRO) by the cable twister room. I'm not really sure how it works, but it appears that the incoming cables hang down the centre of the building in a loop. The loops are attached at the top, one set into the building, the other up to the dish. As the telescope rotates, the loops grow or shrink, depending upon the degrees of rotation. This telescope can rotate about 400 degrees, which avoids the need to stop measurements during a run to rotate the telescope around to continue the rotational tracking of the object.

Small room with previous photo metal cylinder in middle This is the area above the cable twister, the mechanism of which is located below the structure in the middle of the room. Some of the cables (at least 20mm in diameter, and very stiff - some were cut off within arms reach!) are visible running along the cableways below the ceiling. From here, there is a longer than expected spiral staircase down into the regular part of the building.

Inside The Building

Open doors with spiral staircase behind This is the bottom of the spiral staircase from the area above the cable twister. It comes out in the telescope control and signal processing room.

Middle of circular room with telescope control equipment The controls for the telescope are in the middle of the room, surrounding what I presume to be the lower part of the cable twister. The rack of equipment on the far left is the newer signal processing equipment.

Racks of electriconic equipment and patch cables Further around to the left of the above photo is the patch panel, and what I suspect is the RF processing section, and other ancillary equipment such as the hydrogen maser used for time keeping and frequency control.

Middle of circular room with telescope control equipment The telescopes pointing control area. The display on the left showed the pointing details and operational aspects of the telescope. The panel on the right with knobs and dials is a manual control system for the telescope - I presume a backup system in case of troubles with the computer based one. The red door on the right leads to the spiral staircase.

One Floor Down

People in hall outside room labelled The Astronomers Room indicates the purpose of this floor. The man without a hat on the left is an actual, real live astronomer! We did not enter the room - it appeared to be an office area where astronomers look at data and scratch their heads.

Ground Floor

Photo through door into a kitchen Ah, every good facility has a kitchen! I suspect especially important in a facility which is in use 24 hours per day, and in a location where the temperature drops below freezing at times!


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