Powering through the core

We’ve almost finished the core section of the MWA, so we’ve had another good day for day number 5 out here. Morale remains high, and the student army are doing extremely well.

The core is almost full!

The core is almost full!

On a personal note, I got myself into the dipole building game (out of the label-writing and dipole clipping job) and finished my first 35 ‘turrets’ today. I’m suitably proud, even though all other members of the army are well over 50 each!

Luke Horsley's 100th crossed dipole 'turret'.

Luke Horsley’s 100th crossed dipole ‘turret’.

Here’s a small tour of the site that I shot yesterday.  You’ll have to forgive the bumpy camera, it’s hard to hold it super steady when walking over rough ground and I was rushing so I could get back to work.

I think we’ve got into a good rhythm with laying out cables, coiling them up and clipping on dipoles. We’ve definitely got a rhythm making dipoles in the office. It’s all looking good!

Kim coiling the cable ready to attach to the beamformers.

Kim coiling the cable ready to attach to the beamformers.

We heard some good news today – the beam formers should arrive on site later this week, so we’ll be able to start clipping them together. This also means there’ll be a delivery direct from ICRAR/Curtin so we’ve requested more tools and some care package items (including cheese and bacon balls and diet coke, which got us a confused email back from base!)

Jarrod, Engineer Dave and Sammy laying out the cable from each dipole.

Jarrod, Engineer Dave and Sammy laying out the cable from each dipole on a tile.

This tile happens to be on the 'trench line' but I keep thinking 'what's a tile doing on the road?'

This tile happens to be on the ‘trench line’ but I keep thinking ‘what’s a tile doing on the road?’ every time I drive past…

Day 5 Summary

Antenna Count: 1592/4096
Completed MWA Tiles: 47/128
Beam formers installed: 0/128 (0 on site)

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About Kirsten Gottschalk

Outreach and Education Officer at The International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). I was lucky enough to join our engineers and 'student army' to build a good share of the Murchison Widefield Array, the low frequency precursor to the Square Kilometre Array on the future SKA site in WA. All images and content on this blog are copyright, unless otherwise attributed. If you'd like to use any of my photos, send me an email and I'd be happy to help - kirsten.gottschalk@icrar.org

3 responses to “Powering through the core

  1. Bob Steele

    Wow, it’s starting look impressive to say the least. Well done to you all 🙂

    I can appreciate the confused e-mail when bacon balls cheese and diet coke are requested along with tools of trade!!!!

  2. Mike Oakland

    Fabulouss to see it taking shape!!

    How long before the first data is processed?

    • Kirsten Gottschalk

      Thanks Mike, we’ve enjoyed that aspect too.

      As for first data – science commissioning starts soon and that will be real data being processed, but as for the first data from the full instrument, that’ll be next year.

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Copyright Notice

All images and content on this blog is copyright. I'd be happy to help you out if you want to use any text or images that I've produced, simply send me an email - kirsten.gottschalk@icrar.org - and we can chat about it.
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