|Description:|| Traditionally, ASTRON has an excellent relationship with the Hanzehogeschool, a University of Applied science in Groningen. One example of the collaboration is the Electronic Product Engineering Design (EPED) assignment, in which a customer provides a technical problem, to be solved by students working in a project team.|
Since the start of LOFAR operations, a local HBA-tile controller has been high on the maintenance and developers wish-list, but never been worked out. It turned out that the development and construction of such a controller would be an ideal EPED project, combining various technical disciplines and challenges.
Three engineering students expressed interest in picking up the challenge. Their assignment was to develop and construct a HBA-tile controller that can point a single tile beam to a predetermined position in the sky, and to display the RF spectrum of the beam. The deliverables included a portable prototype with a user friendly GUI for the tile control and signal measurements.
With a little interaction from ASTRON, the students succeeded in this assignment within 4 months. Despite the short development time, the technical solution and quality that they provided were outstanding.
The pictures show the final project presentation. In the background you will recognize a black box containing 16 HBA front-ends and signal Summator, representing a single HBA-tile. The demonstration showed how the beam direction can be programmed, and the GUI displaying the RF spectrum.
One picture shows three very happy students, from left to right Sjoerd Kiewiet, Douwe Zijlstra and Jip Kosse, receiving a speech from the Hanzehogeschool supervisor Peter Kamphuis, congratulating them with the success of the project.