On Tuesday 5 June, the skyline of the National Park Dwingelderveld will change drastically temporarily. On that day at 14.00 hrs, the 25-meter dish of the ASTRON Dwingeloo Radio Telescope will be lifted off its tower and placed on a special construction next to it, so that it can be restored. The dish, which weighs over 30,000 kilo's, has not been out of place since its construction in 1956. Without restoration, the risk of the structure collapsing is too big and it would have to be taken down. After the dish of the telescope is removed, all steel parts will be sandblasted and repainted. If necessary, parts will be replaced. After this, the dish will again be put in place.
The Dwingeloo Radio Telescope was, at the time of its opening in 1956 by Queen Juliana, the largest radio telescope in the world. Until the ‘90's of the last century, the telescope has served as a scientific instrument. Astronomers mapped our galaxy with the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope. In 1998, the 25-meter dish, was placed in the so-called storm position and since then, has no longer been used for scientific purposes. The Dwingeloo Radio Telescope is a protected monument since 2009 because of its history and (international) scientific significance.
With the establishment of the CAMRAS foundation in 2007, the radio telescope has been given a new purpose for amateurs and education. The volunteers of the CAMRAS foundation, which manages the Dwingeloo telescope, wants to make the telescope a living monument. Radio amateurs and amateur astronomers will use the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope and promote it by organising public and educational activities, so that visitors and especially the youth can learn about the world of technology and astronomy.
The restoration of the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope is made possible by grants from the National Heritage Board of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, the province of Drenthe, the municipality of Westerveld and contributions of the VSB, SNS REAAL FUND, Rabobank Southwest Drenthe, ASTRON and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO). The restoration is expected to be completed by mid-2013.
For more information please contact:
ASTRON: Femke Boekhorst, PR & Communications. Tel.: 06-21234243. E-mail: boekhorst [at] astron [dot] nl.
CAMRAS: Andre van Es, Chairman. Tel.: 06-51433473. E-mail: bestuur [at] camras [dot] nl.
Photo above: rust on the Dwingeloo telescope.
A film about the construction of the Dwingeloo Radio Telescope in 1956 is shown on http://www.astron.nl/about-astron/history-astron/history-astron