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WSRT goes optical

Submitter: Wim van Cappellen
Description: Without much ceremony, the first spade has been put in the ground to prepare the WSRT for the upcoming upgrade to APERTIF. On August 30 2011 the installation of fiber optic cables to each of the 14 WSRT dishes has started. The fibers will be used to transport the digital data of the future APERTIF Phased Array Feeds (178 Gbit/s per dish) to the correlator in the control building. Each dish will be connected through 144 single mode fibers. These fibers will be used primarily for APERTIF, but a few are reserved for surveillance cameras. And there is plenty of capacity for future expansion.

The fibers will also reach telescopes C and D. The 1200 m stretch to C and D is adventurous since it requires digging through a forest and crossing a stream and three high-pressure (67 bar) gas pipes with diameters around 1.2 meter.
Copyright: ASTRON, 2011.
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