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Dwingeloo Dish hoisted back onto its Mount

Submitter: Jan Noordam
Description: After half a year of refurbishment, the 25m dish of the venerable Dwingeloo radio telescope has been hoisted back into place. The huge crane was operated by a pair of golden hands, which managed to move the 35 tons in one smooth arc, with cm precision, without succumbing to dangerous oscillations.

As the placard on the left indicates, there are still a few bits missing. Notably, the structure that holds the focus-box with the receiver. Over the years, this has evolved from a single pole, held in place by means of guy wires, through a tripod phase, to the present four legs that can support a 600 kg receiver. The increased weight is due to the vacuum cooling, which is needed to maximise the sensitivity by reducing the thermal noise of the electronics.

After the quadropod has been replaced, and the magnificent CAMRAS crew has installed and tested the new systems, the oldest operational radio telescope in the world will be ready again for its next 60 years.

Copyright: ASTRON
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