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3rd of November 2020
Beginning and end of an era
On the 21st of January 1997, the thirteen-beam 20cm multi-beam receiver was installed in the focus cabin of the Parkes 64m telescope for the first time. This marked the beginning of a new era for the telescope: the multi-beam receiver's ability to survey the sky 13 times faster than the traditional "single pixel" receiver enabling projects that would previously have been considered too time consuming. The receiver was built as a collaboration between ATNF and the Universities of Melbourne, Sydney, Western Sydney and Cardiff, Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories, and Jodrell Bank, with funding provided by the Australian Research Council and ATNF. The first projects undertaken with the receiver were the HI Parkes All Sky Survey (HIPASS) and the Parkes Multibeam Pulsar Survey, which have gone on to produce some of the most highly cited papers in the telescope's history. Over much of a 23 year period, the multibeam receiver was the workhorse for the telescope, with the discovery of Fast Radio Bursts being another highlight of its long career. Yesterday, the multibeam receiver was removed from the focus cabin for the final time: its frequency coverage is now provided by the Ultra Wide-Band Low receiver, and its wide field of view will be provided by the cryoPAF (cryogenically cooled Phased Array Feed) now under development. (Image credit: John Sarkissian)

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