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Terrestrial visit

Submitter: Henri Meulman
Description: The Lofar stations are rolled out all over the northern part of the country, usually in remote and quiet locations. This is certainly the case with the station near Nieuwolda. Far away from humans, and close to a lake with lots of birds and fish, this is a perfect habitat for predators.

One of these, probably a marten (bottom left) or a polecat (bottom right), did take a fancy to one of our HBA tiles, using it for shelter, dining room, bedroom and toilet. And whenever he was bored, he had lots of fun playing around with the styrofoam structure that supports the HBA antennas, putting his teeth into the soft material again and again.

Although the construction did get weaker and weaker over time, the electronic parts kept working. Yes, the animal did chew on some cables, but this had only minor effect on the performance (yet). But eventually, this antenna tile had to be exchanged for a brand new one. In this image you see this exchange in action, and especially the impressive mess made by our little friend. Obviously, we are contemplating eco-friendly measures to discourage this kind of thing in future.

Henri, Martijn, Peter, Lute and Jan-Pieter
Copyright: Astron
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