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SKALA2 antenna assembly

Submitter: Pieter Benthem
Description: Deploying 131072 antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia, will be one of the interesting challenges of SKA1_LOW.

One of the goals of the LFAA Aperture Array Verification System (AAVS1) is to demonstrate the required assembly and deployment schedule. It will also provide feedback for the design, which can then be further optimized towards future improvement on these subjects.

We're pretty confident that we are on the right track, as it takes an unskilled person under five minutes to completely assemble and deploy a single antenna. One of the items to assist us is the assembly-jig, which can be seen at bottom-left.

The orange cable feeding the antenna top-part houses both the fibre-optic cable to transport the RF signal (using RFoF) and a copper wire to feed the FrontEnd electronics. This hybrid cable will be connected to the Antenna Processing Interface Unit (APIU), which will be a single box situated in the middle of each SKA_Low station.

Copyright: ASTRON
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