|Arnold van Ardenne, Jan Noordam
| This special AJDI supersedes the regular one for a few hours. However, do not miss the televison program Heel Nederland kijkt Sterren tonight, at 21:25 on NPO1
Today we mark the official retirement of Rob Millenaar, who has devoted more than 40 years to helping ASTRON to fulfill its Mission Statement. Of course he will not really disappear, since he has been snatched up by our strategic partner in South Africa to work towards the giant SKA radio telescope for a few years.
The picture depicts just a minute slice trough his long career of building cutting-edge instruments for radio astronomy. It shows Rob in the early 80's (in his early 30's), working on a multiplexer of the Digital Continuum Backend (DCB) in the shielded environment at the Westerbork Observatory. In this context he contributed to the world's first small-sized Printed Circuit Board!
He obvious enjoyed his work, first on essentially all correlators for the WSRT, and later on the first autocorrelator for the JCMT on Mauna Kea. He actually lived on Hawaii for several years with his young family, to commission various instruments.
During the last decade or so, he greatly contributed to the international SKA project, first by assessing the radiofrequency (interference) environment at putative SKA locations around the globe, and then to figure out the optimal configuration of the array of SKA stations at the chosen sites in Australia and South Africa.
In his spare time he not only pursued some unusual hobbies like sky-diving and flying gliders, but he did it at an unusual level. In sky-diving he participated in the more complicated art of formation flying, and he competed in gliding races at national level. (His son Peter, starting early, rose to dizzying heigths in international gliding, using the family glider to great effect).
Of course all this frenetic activity was only possible because the home fires were kept burning by his lovely Janni, who also worked for ASTRON (then SRZM/NFRA) as Office Manager in the 70's and 80's.
Thank you, Rob and Janni, for all you have done for the ASTRON family, and we wish you all the best and a great time in South Africa!