By M. A. Gordon (auth.)

This publication is a private account of the evolution of millimeter-wave astronomy on the nationwide Radio Astronomy Observatory. It starts off with the development of the highly profitable, yet wrong, 36 toes radio telescope on Kitt top, Arizona, and maintains throughout the investment of its final successor, the Atacama huge Millimeter-wave Array (ALMA), being built on a 5.000 m (16.500 toes) website in northern Chile. The booklet describes the behind-the-scene actions of the NRAO Tucson employees. those comprise the identity and resolution of technical difficulties, the scheduling and aid of traveling astronomers, and the arrangements and the politics of the suggestion to interchange the 36 feet telescope with a 25 m telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The ebook additionally describes the deploy of a brand new 12 m floor and the involvement of the Tucson employees within the ALMA undertaking. eventually, it describes occasions resulting in the ultimate of the 36 toes telescope and, finally, of the NRAO places of work in Tucson.

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Additional resources for Recollections of “Tucson Operations”: The Millimeter-Wave Observatory of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory

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Its obligation was (and still is) to maintain its telescopes in “perfect” working order for each new observing team, a state which could easily be spoiled by a technically ambitious but ham-fisted group preceding them. The 36-ft telescope was an anomaly. It was the only NRAO telescope that allowed astronomers to modify the electronics. 2. LINGERING TECHNICAL PROBLEMS 33 telescope because that was the only way astronomers could make the telescope productive. Chapter 4 Dispatched to Tucson My personal route from the Charlottesville headquarters of the NRAO to Tucson involved a number of events, unintentionally preparing me for a critical meeting with Dave Heeschen.

Consequently, they often leaked, spreading hydraulic fluid on the disk rotor and destroying the braking action. On more than one occasion, a burst of wind blew through the slit of the astrodome, impacted on the dish surface as if it were a sail, and rotated the telescope well away from its commanded position. The slick brake rotor could not stop the winddriven slewing, and the telescope rotation ripped out the cables connecting the receiver to the ground. The fix was to replace the original 1960s brake calibers with improved ones that were designed to operate in a horizontal position and to install a huge sump for brake fluid just in case the calibers did leak, a solution implemented in the mid-1970s by Neil Albaugh.

32 CHAPTER 3. D. from Berkeley, also arrived. Bess was a wizard with programming even though her degrees were in Medieval History from UC Berkeley—with a Phi Beta Kappa key. D. in EE from the University of Texas—along with a tendency to work 20 hours of every day and a visceral understanding of parabolic antennas. Meanwhile, George Grove had returned to Green Bank, and the NRAO had sent another engineer, Dewey Ross, to assist. In the summer of 1973, Mike Hollis arrived to join the programming group.

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