How Engineers Very Carefully Inspect Large Radio Antenna Dishes

Illustration for article titled How Engineers Very Carefully Inspect Large Radio Antenna Dishes

I have only one piece of advice: Watch out for the spikes before sitting down when you are about to inspect radio telescope antenna.

What you see in the photo above is the dish of one of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) antennas in the Atacama desert of northern Chile. Two engineers from the ALMA Operations Support Facility inspect the dish from the inside sitting and standing on the reflector surface. Every antenna is calibrated and tested at the Operations Support Facility, located at an altitude of 9,515 feet, before being moved to the 16,730-foot-high Array Operations Site.

Image: M. Alexander/ESO

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

notabigbang
notabigbang

Mmmmmyes, but what about those spikes? Are they part of the calibration? Do they stay?