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CASS News

Mopra telescope - Operations Update 15 February 2013


CASS staff continue to assess the bush fire damage sustained to the Mopra Telescope site on 13 January 2013. After a series of onsite engineering and insurance assessments the cleanup of the rubble, plastics and decontamination by suitably credentialed contractors will start in the week of 18th February 2013. Restoring the power to site remains a top priority. Temporary power is needed for testing and evaluating the scientific electronics systems, as well as the telescope drives, antennas surface and essential support systems.

The site LV (415V) overhead supply was interrupted when the Essential Energy power poles, lines and upstream transformer were burnt. The plan is to have mains power restored to the site by the end of February 2013. The onsite diesel generator unit has sustained damage but appears to be fixable. An interim switchboard panel is currently being constructed to allow testing of the instrument. A small solar charger and battery has been setup onsite at Mopra specifically to minimise the risk of the hydrogen maser physics package degrading from a prolonged period without power.

We remain hopeful that this equipment has not sustained any damage but the affect of smoke and high temperatures from the fire blaze cannot be known until after decontamination and power-up tests are conducted.

Added by Kate Brooks on 2013-02-15

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