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  • tmozdzen 10:12 pm on July 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Nevada Field Trip, Day 5 – One Last Low Band Reading and a Steak Dinner. 

    The weather report for our last full day at the ranch indicated afternoon showers, but clear in the morning until about noon. We decided to get one last 2 hr low band measurement taken in the morning. On our way back the previous day, we noticed a spot 15 miles south of the ranch that looked favorable.

    As we loaded the car, the tire pressure indicator warned us that we were low 5 psi in one tire. We exited the car, had a look, and discovered it to be worse than just 5 psi. The tire was half flat.

    Luckily, John and the ranch hands had not gone into the field yet and were still working in the area.   So we asked them if they could help us with our tire. They pumped it up with air and then we easily heard where the leak was – on the bottom of the tire right in the middle and was caused from hitting one too many sharp rocks. The tire couldn’t be patched, it was a dead tire.

    John knew of a tire repair place in Austin, Nv, just 50 miles away. The man had a tire our size, and agreed to come up the road from Austin to deliver and install the new tire (actually a used tire). The deal was on.

    Raul and I drove to our observation site using the spare tire (not a full sized spare) and began setting up the morning’s observation. 10 minutes later, the repair man pulled up with his truck and proceeded to take care of our tires. Amazingly the whole ordeal only set us back about one hour. We thanked him profusely and paid him profusely, but it was worth it. He said, “this is my job, I fix tires.” And he was a very busy man indeed. He was one of the tire shops selected to patch the huge tires for one of the mining companies. He told us that those tires were very lucrative to repair.

    The sky was clear when we started but we knew it was going to be a race against time. Hour one: completed. Skies looking a little more ominous. Hour two of measurement began: how long would the sky hold off? We waited a bit too long and the high winds came. We furiously tried to shut down the computer cleanly, but the wind and now rain droplets were coming down too fast. Our shade structure twisted into a pile of rubble. We did manage to get the computer and instruments back into the car with no damage to them or us.

    We unpacked the car at the ranch, as it had not started to rain there yet, and repacked it properly. That hour of delay from the flat tire did cost us as we really needed that extra hour.

    As we were recovering from the earlier mayhem, the AC suddenly shut off and all was quiet – the power went out. OK, what next?! Fortunately, dinner was being cooked on the gas grill and we would not be denied our dinner.  In the meantime, I went down to the hot spring hoping to cool off.  The end of the pond away from the spring was indeed cool and it felt very nice to wash the dust off and cool off in the hot spring (luckily we are from Phoenix and have an altered sense of hot and cold).  Showers at the cabin were out of the question as the cold water was too hot to stand under.

    We had a very nice dinner with the ranch manager John, with his wife, two daughters, the daughter’s 3 little boys (ages 3, 5, and 7), the daughter’s boyfriend (also the head ranch hand), and one college intern.  We had great discussions about cattle, the history of the ranch and surrounding area, and of course, John wanted to know more about the topic we were studying.

    And to cap off dinner, the power came back on after being out for nearly 6 hrs. The day had a rough beginning, but a pleasant ending.

    We are now headed back to Arizona and are examining the data we collected.

  • tmozdzen 9:27 pm on July 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Nevada Field Trip, Day 4 – The Search Continues, but Nevada has a Monsoon Season as Well. 

    We processed our data from the previous day and noticed that the high band antenna had considerable radio frequency interference (RFI), but that the low band was much quieter. To view the antenna response, we plot the antenna temperature (basically power) vs frequency. An ideal plot would be a smooth curve, but when RFI is present, there will be occasional narrow RFI spikes at various frequencies.

    The frequency of FM radio is in the range of 88 to 108 MHz. Despite the lack of FM reception on our car’s radio, the low and high band antennas picked up a forest of spikes in the Radio Band. It appears one can not escape FM radio.

    Other than FM radio, the low band interference was not that bad. We decided to use day 4 to search the area for other locations which were good in the low band, by using our small biconical dipole antenna and measure for 10 minutes for a NS orientation and 10 minutes for an EW orientation.

    We traveled a 180 mile loop around the area, stopping in various (4) places. The loop took us 9 miles north of the ranch on Nevada Hwy 21 (Grass Valley Rd) and then 21 miles westbound on another road (name unknown) to Hwy 278. Going south on 278 for 41 miles brings you to Eureka, the first decent sized town in the area. The next part of the loop is 69 miles of Hwy 50 (westbound), which meets up with Hwy 21. 40 miles of the gravel road Hwy 21 brings us back to Gund Ranch.

    We tried 4 locations. The first location was on the road whose name we are uncertain of. We were able to get in a full measurement. The second location was a few miles south on Hwy 278 near the Alpha ranch. Our measurement there was cut short by about 5 minutes due to a rain cloud that popped up suddenly. Our third measurement was 30 miles into Hwy 50. That measurement was called off due to rain before we could even set up. The fourth measurement was also off of Hwy 50, but about 5 miles north of there on a side road.

    We did get in some measurements on day 4 despite the rain. However, lightening did add spurious RFI to our data, and the data might not appear as clean as it should actually be.

    At the end of the day, the Ranch Manager, John, paid us a visit and confirmed an earlier invitation to us to have dinner with him and his wife at his house the next day (steak from his cattle), but there would be additional guests because his wife had reminded him that it was his birthday tomorrow!

  • tmozdzen 11:33 pm on July 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Nevada Field Trip Days 1, 2, and 3 – The Search for a Quiet Location to Listen for the EOR Signal 

    The EDGES program under Professor Judd Bowman is searching for a site which would be nearly as remote and quiet (in the radio frequency ranges of 50-200 MHz) as the current site in Western Australia, but slightly more convenient to get to for testing and development.  The Global Epoch of Reionization (EOR) signal is very faint and must be carefully extracted from a bright sky almost 100,000 times greater in magnitude, so the fewer stray signals we pick up, the better our chances of successfully extracting the signal.

    It was for this reason that Raul Monsalve (post-doc) and I (PhD candidate) packed a nice new SUV rental with our antenna gear last Monday and headed off to the middle of Nevada. It’s a long trip, so we were forced to spend the first night in Las Vegas. And on the second day, via the extraterrestrial highway (318), we arrived at the Gund Research Ranch operated by the University of Nevada Reno. (http://www.ag.unr.edu/about/facilities/gund_ranch.aspx). During the drive on the second day, we were encouraged by the weakness (and most of the time the lack of reception) of FM radio stations.

    The ranch manager had a nice empty cabin available and was very hospitable. He showed us the boundaries of the ranch (100,000 acres when considering public and private lands) and told us of the hot springs in the area. One undesirable by-product of the hot springs is that the longer you let the cold water run, the hotter it gets, to the point of scalding. The ranch research focuses mainly on cattle, but people come to the ranch to conduct research on a variety of topics. He also pointed out several spots in the field that might interest us which didn’t have cattle roaming around that we might want to visit the next day.

    On the third day, we took the packed SUV out onto a field on the ranch property. The rancher warned us to get out of there asap if it started to rain, because the road would get slick as butter and we’d have no chance of exiting. The road consisted of two tire tracks without vegetation amid a field that was a forest of thriving desert scrub brush plants. After going into the field for about a mile, and fearing we might not come back out if we drove much further, we found a place to set up our antenna and take measurements.

    We brought 3 antennas with us and took measurements with all of them at this site:
    1) A low band antenna sensitive in the range of 50 to 125 MHz
    2) A high band antenna sensitive in the range of 80 to 200 MHz.
    3) A small biconical dipole antenna sensitive in the range of 50 MHz and above.

    After 2 hrs, we set up the low band antenna and took 2 hrs of measurements. We then switched antennas and took 2 hrs of measurements with the high band antenna. Because at 2 pm a few drops began to fall during the high band measurements, we decided to make the bi-conical dipole measurements in parallel to hasten our departure (we could do this because the dipole used a different piece of equipment than the low and high band antennas). If it really started to rain, there was no way we could shut down and get out of there in under 40 minutes, so we foolishly took our chances and completed all of our measurements. Luckily the few drops of rain stopped and we made an uneventful return to the ranch.

    We are now looking at the data we recorded and will update you on the results in the next blog entry.

  • kdavis32 2:27 pm on May 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EDGES, ,   

    Characterizing EDGES Radio Frequency Interference 

    Hello LoCo followers! As the avid readers should know, the LoCo team is working on developing a ultra-sensitive radio telescope, EDGES, in order to detect faint emission signals from the very earliest stars and black holes that formed in the universe. Since the signals are so faint, EDGES must be the most sensitive instrument of its kind. However, the high response of the telescope to small signals can be disadvantageous, since there are many other radio sources that can “drown out” the desired signal. Most everyone has experienced this effect as static on a car radio. In this case, the EDGES frequency range actually includes the FM band, and the radio signals that you want to hear in your car is, to us, just like ‘static’ that interrupts your favorite broadcasts! In fact, astronomers call this unwanted interference ‘noise’ even though it is caused by electromagnetic waves instead of sound waves.
    Here at ASU, I am looking at the radio frequency interference (RFI) patterns that disturb our observations of the early universe. In figure 1, you can see a typical plot of the intensity at a given frequency during the course of the day. The X-axis is a plot of frequency, and the Y axis shows time at one minute intervals. A red pixel shows that there was a lot of incoming flux at a given frequency, and blue shows a low level of flux. The large red sphere is actually the radio emission of our Milky Way galaxy. The vertical bands of high flux correspond to radio frequency channels that we humans use for broadcasting. Some of these bands are used for FM radio, some are used for GPS, and others are used for industrial or amateur radio communication (like cell phones or satellite TVs).

    Antenna Temp 2011_315_00_Ta

    The intensity of the RFI signals in these bands changes throughout the day for a wide variety of reasons. I am looking for times when the power is unusually high, and seeing if those events correlate to known environmental phenomenon. For instance, one of Earth’s atmospheric layers is composed of high temperature particles that have been stripped of their electrons and form ions, thus the layer’s name ‘ionosphere’. When a force perturbs this layer, the charges move around in wavelike patterns. Moving electrical charges radiate photons, and the frequency of the radiation is dependent on the frequency that the ions oscillate. If the ions oscillate at radio frequencies, then there will be an increase in radio photons coming from the ionosphere, and the EDGES instrument will record that event. Other RFI sources that cause noise in the data are meteor showers (that perturb the ionosphere), ionospheric clouds, solar flares, and geomagnetic storms.
    The frequency at which radio waves can propagate through the ionosphere is called the critical frequency. Signals at higher frequencies than this escape to space, while signals at lower frequencies
    are reflected back towards Earth. Figure 2 shows a plot of the average critical frequency of the f1 layer of the ionosphere for each day from 2007 to present, which spans the time period that the EDGES instrument has been running. You can see that there are seasonal peaks each year, due to the orientation of the earth’s magnetic field compared to the direction of the sun. I am interested in finding the spikes in the data, to see if there are any peaks in the RFI intensity on those dates.

    RFI 2011_315_00_rfi

    As mentioned above, infalling meteors are known to cause perturbations in the ionosphere. Many of these meteor showers are spectacular to view with the naked eye, but a few are so faint that we only know they are there because of the disturbances they make in the ionosphere that have been recorded by other radio instruments. Figure 3 shows a plot of how many meteors are expected to hit the atmosphere for any given day. They are separated into ‘visible’ and ‘radio’ showers, based on whether they are visible to the naked eye or have been detected by radio instruments only. The X axis runs over one year only, since the Earth only runs into each group of meteors once per year due to our orbit around the sun. The Y axis gives the Zenith Hour Mean (ZHM), which is the total number of events predicted to occur during the hour that the shower has the most meteors.

    Total Expected Radio and Visible

    So far, I have been working on getting the data into a format that will be meaningful to do the comparison between. In the next few weeks I should start to see if there are any of the correlations between the ‘noise’ in the EDGES data and the events that happen in the sky above it. If this is successful, I can use the information to remove the events from the data so the astronomical signal we want to detect will be clearer. Wish me luck!

  • seasterb 2:23 pm on March 25, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EDGES, ,   

    Is it Abstract Art or Science? 

    Many cosmological questions about the early universe are on the horizon of scientific discovery at this time. Theorists have come up with a time line that shows the development from the Big Bang to the present gigantic and complex universe. Can we prove what the theorists have predicted? Perhaps – but with every measurement there is some amount of error and uncertainty. Unfortunately, the uncertainty that can be tolerated in our group’s experiments to be able to state definitively, “We know when the first stars and black holes formed” is ridiculously small. The project that I have been working on for the last year set out to find the error related with using an antenna at varying locations on the Earth and different times during the day to make accurate measurement of the radio spectrum. Every antenna has a beam pattern – which is the area that an antenna can collect information from, and each beam pattern has places that are more sensitive and less sensitive to incoming signals.
    By projecting these beam patterns onto a temperature coded map of the sky, an estimate of what that antenna can “see” at that time, frequency, and location on the globe can be made – but if you ask me, most of the information I get resembles a painting I would love to hang on my wall.

    Figure 1- Sky Map at 408 MHz

    Figure 1- Sky Map at 408 MHz

    Figure 2-Beam in Azimuth and Elevation

    Figure 2-Beam in Azimuth and Elevation

    Figure 3 - Beam in Right Ascension and Declination

    Figure 3 – Beam in Right Ascension and Declination

    Figure 4 - Beam Projected on the Sky Map

    Figure 4 – Beam Projected on the Sky Map

    Figure 1 shows the temperature coded map of radio emission from our own Milky Galaxy in the sky – red is hot and blue is cold. Figures 2 and 3 above show how the modeled beam pattern looks for a physical antenna in two different astronomical coordinate systems. Figure 4 filters the beam pattern, modeled on the data set generated for the antenna beam pattern filtered by RA/DEC, against the sky map. On the color scale, red is the strongest signal and blue is the weakest signal. So as the earth rotates, the sky over the antenna will change and the red, or strongest collecting point, will hit different parts of the sky. In Figure 4, the beam pattern was projected on the galactic sky map at an arbitrary latitude, longitude, and time on earth (in this case a location in Australia).

    After this projection, the temperature of the projected map was summed at each frequency. Once this was coded, I add a series of “for” loops in my software to change the antenna’s latitude from -90˚ to 90˚, the time from hour 0 to 24, and the orientation azimuth from phi of 0˚ to 360˚. After plotting as a function of frequency, the curves were fitted with a second order power curve with the form: Ax^B+C. All of the curves and the corresponding residuals were plotted on the same figure for better comparison (Figure 5 and Figure 6 below). Once on the same plot, the curves that had an error larger than 0.05 K were eliminated. The last step was changing the time and the location simultaneously to determine the best combination of data collection of those two parameters – this can be seen in Figure 7. So far, our experiment site in Western Australia at -27 latitude is looking pretty good (at least for part each day)!

    Figure 5 - Temperature Sum For Different Latitudes

    Figure 5 – Temperature Sum For Different Latitudes

    Figure 6 - Residuals for Best Latitudes

    Figure 6 – Residuals for Best Latitudes

    Figure 7 - Best Latitude and Time to Collect Data

    Figure 7 – Best Latitude and Time to Collect Data

    This process, although easy to write out step by step, was quite particular. Taking hundreds upon hundreds of data points from an antenna and figuring out how to adapt the program that was written for the theoretical case was less than straight forward.

    So, is it abstract art or science??

    Plot of the Coordinates - This one is fun to look at!

    Plot of the Coordinates – This one is fun to look at!

    Another plot of the coordinate system that is just fun to look at!

    Another plot of the coordinate system that is just fun to look at!

  • raul_monsalve 2:38 pm on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , chile, EDGES, ,   

    Southern Hemisphere Again! 

    Hey gals and guys!! My name is Raul Monsalve, Chilean, and this is my first post on the ASU Explorers blog. Just like the other contributors, I will show you some of the exciting things we do at ASU as part of the cutting-edge research endeavors.

    I am currently a Postdoctoral Scholar; my undergrad degree is in electronics engineering and my PhD is in Physics, where I worked on a CMB polarization experiment called QUIET. With that background, it is obvious that I like instrumentation for radioastronomy and that is why I am enjoying a lot working at ASU in the exciting field of Low-Fewquency Cosmology.

    As you know by now (especially with all the experiences shared by José in previous posts), astronomy is a discipline conducted at an international level for several reasons, and therefore if you want to join this field you will become a world citizen sooner or later.

    As an example, last week I traveled to Chile to a conference on astronomical instrumentation organized and hosted by the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and several universities. Being one of the most developed countries in South America, Chile hosts an important amount of world-class telescopes because of its clear skies in several frequency ranges. Among others, telescopes such as ALMA, E-ELT, GMT, VLT, CTIO, CCAT, QUIET, CBI, APEX, ASTE, NANTEN, ACT, POLARBEAR, TAO, CLASS, have chosen Chile to observe from. Astronomy is indeed becoming the focus of Chilean support in the R&D department.

    Some of the ALMA antennas at an elevation of 16,500 feet in the Chilean Atacama desert.

    VLT optical and infrared telescope at an elevation of 8,645 feet in the Chilean Atacama desert.

    During this trip I did not visit any telescope because all my time was devoted to the conference. It was the first meeting of its kind in the country, and had the purpose of introducing the efforts of teams from several universities working on instrumentation. Government representatives also attended in order to present the different financial instruments available for astronomy research. They stressed the fact that support has been increasing year by year, and encouraged (young) people to make use of it. Many Chilean astronomers, engineers and students attended, as well as internationally renowned scientists. This gave everybody the opportunity to network and broaden their perspective.

    I gave a talk the third day of the conference about what we do best: Low-Frequency Cosmology. It served as an introduction to the topic to Chilean scientists, and also proposed the idea of the participation of Chilean institutions in this kind of studies, possibly in collaboration with ASU. From people’s reaction, I can say that the talk and the idea were very well received, and that people from important institutions are very interested in participating. In that sense, the trip was a total success!!.

    My talk on low-frequency cosmology at the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with part of the audience.

    Round of questions after the talk.

    Chilean government palace, “La Moneda”, in Santiago. The view is from the top of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, where the conference was held.

  • josemanuelchavez 4:32 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , EDGES, , ,   

    Australia Recap + Deleted Scenes 

    These past two weeks have been the first of many things: first flight on American & Australian airlines (previously, I had only traveled on a Mexican airline) and the first time on a different continent.  We took one of the longest flights available and traveled to one of the most remote areas on Earth – which was precisely the point of this trip!

    One would think that this trip would show the vast differences between the U.S. and the ‘Land Down Under’.  Yet, I only noticed strong similarities throughout my stay.  Our flight over to Perth was akin to traversing the southern California countryside – plenty of discernible ranches with rambling roads along the way.  Other than the ‘Australian’ accent, which is not the same in all parts of the country, there aren’t too many disparities in the language.  I found the enunciation – with all its diversity – to be pretty awesome.  In contrast, it took me quite a while to get used to riding in the left lane – it’s like driving in a mirror image of the road!  Throughout the trip, I felt thoroughly welcomed and thrilled to be in a new land – scarcely feeling like a foreigner.  America and Australia are indeed siblings in the international spectrum.

    Another aspect of this trip that I enjoyed quite a lot was the fieldwork.  I have found going about the Australian outback, inspecting and mending instrumentation, to be incredibly fun.  It’s like playing in a giant sandbox that’s hundreds of square kilometers in size!  Yet, whether in the lab or a remote radio quiet zone, once you’re focused on what you’re doing, you quickly lose track of the setting.  In the field of astronomy, the entire world – nay, the entire universe – is our lab.

    Throughout the trip, I have observed the problem solving tactics of the other team members. With three PhD’s and a highly experienced technician constantly nearby, there’s always something to be learned.  I have noted their pedagogical tips and hope to apply what I’ve learned to tackle new problems.

    (One of my favorite quotes: “Don’t be a ‘guess-and-check’ engineer.  Be a scientist and solve this problem.”)

    From one west coast to another; a symphony of domestic and international flights, it has been a privilege and a pleasure to be your liaison throughout this trip.  Until next time, I hope you may again choose LoCo Airlines to reach your destination.




    Deleted scenes:

    Foggy LAX

    Foggy LAX

    The behemoth that got us to Sydney - Boeing 747.

    The behemoth that got us to Sydney – Boeing 747.

    Our onsite LoCo engineer, Mr. Lizard.

    Our onsite LoCo engineer, Mr. Lizard.

    ASKAP radio telescopes aka giant mushrooms

    ASKAP radio telescopes aka giant mushrooms

    Always have a notebook handy - whether at the MRO or Mars.

    Always have a notebook handy – whether at the MRO or Mars.

    The team's glamour shot.  We come in peace.

    The team’s glamour shot. We come in peace!

    Giant sandbox

    Giant sandbox

    Caught me off guard

    Caught me off guard

    Like a kid in a candy store.

    Like a kid in a candy store.

    Representing the Sun Devils

    Representing the Sun Devils

    No gang signs please.

    No gang signs please.

    MWA core

    MWA core

    'roos on the run

    ‘roos on the run

    Go Devils! (I'm starting to sound like cheerleader aren't I?)

    Go Devils! (I’m starting to sound like cheerleader aren’t I?)

    On top of things.

    On top of things.

    This guy is a 24/7 explorer!  He creatively tied his camera to the end of a shoelace and fished a few shots inside a small cave.

    Hamdi is a 24/7 explorer! He creatively MacGyvered his camera to the end of a shoelace and fished a few shots inside a small cave.

    Don't get alarmed, it's just a flying camera riding on a kite.  No big deal.

    Don’t get alarmed, it’s just a flying camera riding on a kite. No big deal.



    Can you spot the emu/s?

    Can you spot the emu/s?

    Windy coast at Geraldton.

    Windy coast at Geraldton.

    Oh hey, there's the Opera House!

    Oh hey, there’s the Opera House!

    Until next time, Sydney!

    Until next time, Sydney!

  • josemanuelchavez 2:44 am on November 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , EDGES, , ,   

    Day 5.2: Ariztralia 

    As we finish our fifth day in Australia, I am set with mixed feelings.  On one side, we are essentially done with most of the work that our trip was designated for.  On the other, we are a day closer to leaving this amazing country – which feels just like home, sometimes even better.

    View from the breakaway

    View from the breakaway

    We’ve stopped by the control building and Boolardy Station for the last time.  We are extremely thankful for their hospitality and assistance.  The food was simply second to none; the staff was extremely supportive and constantly let us borrow equipment (we made sure to hand everything back) while teaching us more about the Australian culture.  Lou and I practiced speaking bit of Mandarin on site, I’m sure it had been months since either of us had done so with another speaker.  It’s important to note how useful the control building was.  It has been, in many ways, our home base.  Let’s put it this way, if we were astronauts in near-Earth orbit, it would have been our ISS (International Space Station).

    Arriving at Geraldton

    Arriving at Geraldton

    After a four hour drive, we arrived at Geraldton.  A small resort town, it is right on the coast facing the Indian Ocean.  It’s been years since I’ve smelled the salty air; pleasant gusts of wind are constant reminders.  I’ve never been in this part of the world, yet it feels awfully familiar.  Tomorrow we will depart to Perth and then onto Sydney.  Cheers mate!

  • josemanuelchavez 9:51 pm on November 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , EDGES, , ,   

    Day 5.1: Flying Cameras 

    Hello all!  Today we woke to another amazing breakfast and headed off to the MWA site.  We toured through all the tiles and climbed the nearby breakaway.  For the first time in the trip, we finally got some pictures of some kangaroos (or rather, “roos”).

    'roo radio explorers

    ‘roo radio explorers

    We then returned to the DARE/EDGES to take a final view of the set up. Lou, one of the MRO staff, let us borrow a compass which we used to measure the angle of the DARE antenna from North.  As he told us, this area has very little magnetic interference which helps us get very accurate measurements.   The angle was found to be about 19 degrees off.

    While part of the time was wrapping things up, Danny and I attached a camera to his kite and took aerial footage of the site.  After a couple of failed attempts, we finally got the kite to fly consistently and saved the video.

    Test run of the LoCo KiteCam

    Test run of the LoCo KiteCam

    Aerial view of EDGES

    Aerial view of EDGES


  • josemanuelchavez 9:30 pm on November 26, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , EDGES, , ,   

    Day 4: It's LoCo Time! 

    G’day mates!  It seems like the Australian dialect has finally caught up to me.  With most of the fieldwork complete, we reviewed the glorious amounts of data that DARE/EDGES had produced.  Nothing alarming came up during the day, so we decided to stay in the homestead and organize our gear for our transit back home.  Truth be told, it was quite a good thing to stay in today, given that it was considerably warmer than the previous days.

    Representing ASU

    Part of the team went to Mullewa to pick up the new addition, Dr. Danny Jacobs.  Bringing new energy and supplies (a filter), Dr. Jacobs was promptly updated about the team’s work.

    Hard at work

    We are planning to go out (briefly) to the field again tomorrow.  The agenda is to measure the orientation of the DARE and EDGES systems  and to run a few more tests on the DARE receiver.

    Site satellite view

    It’s important to note about the warning that everyone who visits the MRO will gain weight.  Skeptical at first, I would like to conclude that this is in fact, true.  Imagine being offered multiple, delicious meals throughout day – there is simply no way to say no.  The perfect example is the local yellow lab who has been at Boolardy Station for a few years.  He happily trots around the encampment, taking breaks along the way, and nibbling on unidentifiable crumbs.


    Today will be our last day here, we will depart tomorrow afternoon to Geraldton and onto the MWA meeting.

    With busy schedules, almost always something on the agenda, and families in different time zones – one often looses track of time.  But when asked what time it is, we respond: “It’s LoCo time here!”.

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