Miscellaneous Related Stuff
Click on an image to see a larger version
12 Metre Development Dish
This is the new 12 metre dish to be used in the
Australian SKA Pathfinder Radio Telescope
project. South Africa and Australia are competing to build the
SKA (square kilometre array) telescope - a square one kilometre on a
side containing many smaller dishes. Australia's site is in a rather
remote section of Western Australia, and as proof of concept,
an array of 36 telescopes is being built there. The data rate
and processing required for this is "astronomical" - no pun intended.
Each antenna generates data at 2Tbits/s!
The above two images show the working side of the dish.
The right hand one is a small section near the left hand "leg".
The black marks are positioning patterns (each about 60mm square)
used to determine the shape of the dish using a specially modified
calibrated camera. This is to allow monitoring the performance
of the prototype under varying conditions. It does get quite hot
in the ultimate location in Western Australia.
And because it does get very hot and very cold in the desert,
the electronics in the support column need to have temperature control.
are available on the information board from CSIRO. But
basically the structure in this image is an intake air feed to the
support column. From there, air is pumped through 4 buried PVC tubes
used to exchange heat with the earth - hot air being cooled, and
cold air being warmed by the relatively stable temperature below
Main Dish Receiver Cabin
The left image above shows the new receiver cabin, installed
in 1995. This is located at the focus of the parabola which the
dish forms, and is thus where there is maximum radio signal strength.
The right hand image shows
the old cabin
which it replaced.
There are several of these stone columns featuring plaques
concerning the telescope. This one is from NASA; the other
from the Institute Of Engineers.
||From Institute Of Engineers
Ah, if only Armstrong and Aldrin could have used this in 1969!
Much easier than lunar perambulation by foot. This "astronaut"
was having quite a bit of fun, quietly sneaking up on visitors.
As he passed, I asked if he was hot. A strong nodding of the
On The Way Out
Looking towards the telescope from a short distance away. I have
been here, but many years ago. The dim memory I have does not
include all those trees around the site.
Looking north from the road to the Newell Highway - roughly opposite
the direction of the above image. The fields are remarkably green,
but that is a very recent development following some recent rain
which has fallen in this part of the state.