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MFAA environmental prototypes - going strong.

Submitter: Pieter Benthem
Description: Approaching their two-year birthday, the Mid Frequency Aperture Array (MFAA) environmental prototypes are still going strong!

Installed during an inspiring trip to the SKA Karoo site, by our ASTRON team. The prototypes are being monitored by the local MFAA team, Andre Walker and Rob Millenaar.

The picture above shows an interesting detail. It is a top view of the "continuous array with open station cover" prototype.

The aluminum Vivaldi antennas can be seen, as well as part of the supporting structure. The station cover has been peeled back, which can partly be seen at the top left. Finally, a test pcb (green area) can be seen, mounted at the bottom.

Obviously one can imagine the thermal benefits of having an open array-housing, but downsides are also to be recognised. Although the accumulation of sand and dust is clearly happening, we are glad to see this effect to be quite minimal.

Copyright: Rob Millenaar
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