Monday, May 24, 2010

Chilbolton Status Report May 24th

If you've been following the blog you'll know that things are busy at the Chilbolton LOFAR site. What follows is based on the status report Mike Willis made to the LOFAR-UK scientists today. As always scientists involved in the project can find the full report on the LOFAR-UK wiki in the Restricted Section.

Ground Works

Great progress has been made on the groundwork. The HBA (high band antenna) field groundwork is almost complete and all the positions for the HBA tiles have been marked.

The LBA field trenches have now all been backfilled and next will begin the construction of the pads for the LBA antennas.

Signal cables

A significant landmark was reached last week with all 384 signal cables (the cables which connect the 96 LBA and 96 HBA antennas to the container - there's two per antenna) being connected. This was an enormous task!

LBA aerial installation

This is planned to occur over a week in early June, using volunteers from Oxford, Southampton and Portsmouth Universities. Final plans being worked out this week.

HBA aerial installation

This will start towards the end of June when the contractors will pre-drill for the ground anchors. Tile placement will take two weeks using an 18 ton digger with a lifting attachment as a crane and an all terrain forklift to unload and deliver tiles to the unfolding station.


Overall, the project remains on schedule and we are still on target for the September launch date.

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