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19th of July 2022
ATCA monitoring
Today's ADAP shows some of the environmental monitoring equipment at the Australia Telescope Compact Array. On top of the Control Building is an anemometer to measure wind speed and direction -- when wind gusts exceed set limits the antennas are automatically stowed. (And the ATCA has some redundnacy for this important task, with another anemometer is located on site to ensure back-up if one or other develops problems.) The other equipment monitors the radio frequency environment. The monitor consists of three elements to provide a very wide frequency coverage: the spiky discone antenna provides 360-degree monitoring, whereas the arrow-shaped wedge antenna and Loop antenna provide more directional monitoring, and are mounted on a pole that rotates through 360 degrees over the course of 20 minutes and provides information on the local radio-frequency interference (RFI) environment over the ATCA's 16cm (1.1 to 3.1 GHz) observing band.

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