Preparing at the Homestead

Today was a day of working in our temporary “lab” at the homestead.  We are waiting for the antenna to arrive from Geraldton tomorrow afternoon, so today was filled with the final preparations.

Judd wrote software code that will help evaluate the receiver noise of the instrument using a drift scan.   This requires a model of both the radio sky and the beam pattern of the antenna for each frequency that we will observe.  By comparing the predicted (modeled) response of the instrument to the actual observations (once we set up the system!), we will be able to infer the properties of the receiver, like its noise temperature and gain, and then compare them to the lab measurements that were made by Dr. Bradley at NRAO before the instrument was shipped to Australia.

While Judd was working on the code, Hamdi and I were putting the final tweaks on our project.  In the United States, a common plug in the wall delivers 110 AC voltage, but in Australia the voltage output is 220 AC voltage.  The transformer used for the power supply was intended to take the input of 220 AC voltage, but it was not performing as it was supposed to. Thus, Hamdi, Judd, and I put our heads together on how to bypass this problem.  I will update you tomorrow on the progress of our engineering design alterations.



Quotes of the day:

“Rrrreal engineers never get stuck.” –Hamdi

“When we are optimistic, things get easier. Life smiles back at us.”  🙂 -Hamdi