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Official Opening of KAIRA

Submitter: Derek McKay-Bukowski
Description: KAIRA (Kilpisjärvi Atmospheric Imaging Receiver Array) is a hybrid radio telescope, radar receiver and atmospheric research station, located in the northwest of Finland. It is made with LOFAR technology and was built during 2011 and 2012.

On the 6th June 2013, the Rector of Oulu University, Lauri Lajunen, officially opened KAIRA. Those who are regular readers of the ASTRON/JIVE Daily Image, may recall seeing KAIRA before... indeed we completed construction and became operational at the start of Winter 2012. But the Arctic is not a friendly place to visit at that time of year, so we postponed the official opening to Summer, so we could enjoy the weather and the 24-hours-a-day of sunshine. As it turns out, it also coincides with the 100-year anniversary of the host institute: Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory.

As you can see from the photographs, the weather did indeed live up to the promise and we had a most glorious day for the site opening, the formal reception at Kilpisjärvi School, and the official dinner with traditional Lappish food. The long party with sauna, swimming in the lake, climbing the local mountains and sitting around an open-fire grilling sausages went on until breakfast. It was a wonderful event and we thank everyone who took the time and effort to travel to the north of the world and celebrate our new scientific facility.

We also wish to thank ASTRON/LOFAR for all their support during the construction phase and for developing such fine equipment in the first place. We have already made some interesting scientific discoveries with KAIRA during the first few months of operation and we look forward to many more to come.

Link: http://www.sgo.fi/KAIRA/
Copyright: Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory
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