Here’s an update on how things are going with the AuScope project:
Delivery of the first new feed (for Hobart) is slated for the end of June. This will include a new feed tube which is wider than the present one. We can expect 2 or 3 people from Patriot to visit for this work. I’m expecting it will take two to three weeks to install, test and hopefully accept it. If it works, Patriot will build two more and install them at Yarragadee and Katherine. Installation at the remote sites would probably start late August at the earliest.
Delivery of the remaining two DBBC samplers is also set for the end of June
Acceptance testing of Yarragadee is all but complete (one more test to do remotely to test performance in high winds - some controller tuning by Patriot may be needed)
Acceptance testing of Katherine has been put off until Patriot install the feed there later this year. There appears to be a mechanical problem in elevation
A recent fringe check experiment using the analog MarkIV rack (not the DBBC) was successful, checked which way round the polarisations are and gave us an additional sensitivity measurement. A test using the DBBC and MarkIV in parallel is scheduled for next week.
I think we should attempt to make Tsys and power measurements through the DBBC using the Linux-based system from Dave Graham, that should be available in the next week. This would mean we don’t have to develop our own sampling hardware.
1.0 to 1.5 GHz bandpass filters have been received for the DBBC and should be installed this week. This will give us access to the upper half of X-band without pre-mixing.
Dave Hughes has purchased a sample kit of tools and components that will be kept at each site and I’ve asked him to send it to Mt Pleasant for checking. Brett, Eric, Brenton and Peter, please take a look at it and let me know what’s missing.
Three spectrum analysers have been purchased. Two go up to 3 GHz, one up to 18 GHz. The 18 GHz unit will stay here, the other two to Yarragadee and Katherine.
Brett has installed one of our masers at Yarragadee. Some tuning is required as it’s drifting by ~4 us a day. This seems to be in hand.
Yarragadee now has a maser, anemometer, ‘timing' PC, observer PC and webcam. The site is on the UTAS network and the antenna can now be controlled remotely.
Katherine is also on the network, has a weather station and webcam.