Onward to 32!

This month we added another shipment of 16 antenna to bring PAPER to 32 antennae.  The arrangement of the antennae on the ground is very close to random, making geography tricky!  I spent a good amount of time out there with the GPS pole and pack, marking out locations of antennae.  We also deployed 4 extra antenna to do a polarization experiment, but ran out of time. Literally and figuratively. First we barely got things running before we had to leave and then the timing turned out to be off by an unknown amount. Still, another great field season!


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I’ve just returned from building the first 16 antenna section of PAPER in South Africa. The site is in the northern part of the country in the middle of the Karoo desert. With its brown sandy dirt and scrub brush the desert is much like middle New Mexico and felt just like home! Here is a photo gallery of the best pictures from the trip.
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We set up 16 antennae on a patch of land set aside by the South African Square Kilometer Array organization with our computers inside a radio-tight shipping container also kindly lent by the South Africans. Everyone was friendly and helpful. It was a very exciting trip. Within days we were able to set up 16 antenna and make our first image of the southern sky at radio wavelengths.