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21st of September 2020
Vale Dave Cooke
We were saddened to learn that David Cooke, former Officer-in-Charge of Parkes Observatory, passed away earlier this month. One of the many projects Dave supported in his time at Parkes was the use of the telescope for observations at 43 GHz. While Parkes still on occasions observes in the 20 GHz band, the observations at a higher frequency are an interesting chapter in the telescope's history. At 43 GHz, only the solid-panelled inner 16.7 m of the 64-m paraboloid formed the effective reflecting surface, resulting in a beamwidth of 1.6 arcmin. The superheterodyne, single-sideband receiver, being tended to by Dave in the image above, employed a 43-GHz maser first amplifier and has an instantaneous receiver bandwidth of 70 MHz. The 43 GHz receiver was used between 1987 and 1993, and resulted in the discovery of over 70 SiO masers. (Image credit: CSIRO Radio Astronomy Image Archive)

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