| Across Europe there are a lot of stations with a lot of HBA tiles in them. However, last year the factory that produces the HBA tiles stopped their production run, having completed all their orders. It was on the 5th November 2010 that the last tile was made and those who assembled it signed their names on the side polystyrene panels, before it was wrapped up and put into storage, ready for shipping.
In early July 2011, the installation team at KAIRA (Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array) were puzzled to find a strange message on the side of one of the HBA tiles being used for that project. However, as it turned out one of the original builders (whose name was actually on the tile itself!) was at hand to explain the story.
So, to all of those who were wondering where the last HBA tile went, and what happened to the one that was signed back at the factory... well, here it is: in Arctic Finland!
Although it is not the last tile to go into the KAIRA array (we have more in storage yet) and that there are other stations in the LOFAR network which have yet to deploy their tiles, this was nevertheless a significant moment so we took a few pictures to share (for more photographs, see the KAIRA weblog article about this event).
The full message on the side of the tile reads:
rENSke, kELLY, HAN
And, it small letters under TILE 2824, it reads:
No doubt, there will be causes to celebrate in future, with the completion of the KAIRA system, the first signals and the first results. However, this is a chance to acknowledge the hard work of the people who made the tiles in the first place. These are the designers, the engineers and the technicians who worked in the production office, the factory and the assembly areas to get them produced. Much thought, effort and time has gone into making the LOFAR production system so successful and so, on behalf of KAIRA (and I'm sure on behalf of countless scientists, engineers and students who will use these antennas), I would like to say a big THANK YOU for all your hard work... we really appreciate it.
Dank jullie wel!
|Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory / Derek McKay-Bukowski