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Mopra Telescope operational again

The Mopra radio telescope of CSIRO's Astronomy and Space Science division has been out of action since bushfires burned through much of the Warrumbungle National Park on January 13th this year. Fortunately, the telescope itself and the key data-taking equipment were spared by the fire, but mains power was cut and the on-site building suffered significant damage.

Among the work carried out over the last three months was the removal of rubble and debris from the site, replacement of electrical switchboards damaged in the fire, professional cleaning of electrical and electronic equipment to remove any particulate matter deposited during the fire, confirmation of the structural integrity of the equipment room, re-establishment of the required air-conditioning to the equipment room, and a systematic program of progressive checks of the state of the computers and equipment. This work was completed last week, and a series of observations has since been conducted to confirm the telescope is fully operational. Work will continue in the coming months to permanently repair or replace the building and other infrastructure.

This week also marks the commencement of a new operating model for the telescope. Funding from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the University of NSW, and the University of Adelaide will now support operations, with these groups being provided dedicated access in return.

Added by Douglas Bock on 2013-05-07

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