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Latvian LOFAR station LV614 passed the Site Acceptance Test!

Submitter: Ronald Halfwerk
Description: On Thursday 15 th of August 2019, this important milestone in the realization of the Latvian LOFAR station in Irbene, near Ventspils was reached. Witnessed by experts from the Engineering Research Institute Ventspils International Radio Astronomy Centre (ERI VIRAC ) of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences (VUAS), the Site Acceptance Test (SAT), also known as the electrical commissioning was executed by our commissioning team Henri Meulman, Klaas Stuurwold and Menno Norden.

During the SAT, the performance is tested of all Low Band Antennas, all High Band Antennas, the station processing hardware tree starting from the RCUs, RSPs, TBBs and the LCU to finally the connection via a high speed optical fiber network link towards the supercomputer of LOFAR in the Netherlands. It was the result of a long lasting and very fruitful collaboration with a large team of VIRAC/VUAS members who executed together with our team on the assembly of over 35.000 individual parts into LOFAR High Band Antennas. The company AKRO from Ventspils, besides building the many HBA antennas, also performed a great role on the laying of 36 km (!) of coaxial ground cables underneath all antennas.

This SAT-campaign lasting nearly a whole week, was concluded successfully. Pictured here is the formal signing of the SAT report by Kãrlis Krěsliņš, Rector of Ventspils University of Applied Sciences, by Dainis Plũme (Deputy Director of VIRAC) and by Menno Norden representing AstroTec Holding BV.

The station, as can been seen in the picture above nicely positioned between both radio telecope dishes RT32 and RT16 of the Ventspils Starptautiskais radioastronomijas centrs in Irbene, now is qualified to serve as an International LOFAR station and is ready for a next phase in the astronomical commissioning!
Copyright: Photos: Henri Meulman, Klaas Stuurwold
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