Technical Operations News Items

Fort Hays Reflector Rebuild Trip Part 2, Aug. 2017

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Oct. 04, 2017 11:16 AM EDT  (187 Reads)
Following the May 2017 trip, the west main reflector array still needed to be rebuilt with a little over half of the wires still needing to be strung up. This trip would also serve as the last tune up of the radar prior to the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017.

Fort Hays Reflector Rebuild Trip, May 2017

By: ksterne  on: Tue., Oct. 03, 2017 04:06 PM EDT  (168 Reads)
Following an ice storm in January 2017 and an assessment trip in Feb. 2017 a major trip was made to make repairs to the West main antenna array reflector so that the west radar was fully functional well prior to the August 2017 solar eclipse.

Blackstone Trip, March 2017

By: ksterne  on: Mon., Apr. 10, 2017 02:00 PM EDT  (1113 Reads)
Following the November 2016 trip, the correct size (5/8” rod) of CADweld mold was ordered in order to complete the grounding work that had been long overdue. However, winter cold and wet set in and so the work could not be completed until better temperatures arrived. In the month prior to this trip the internet connection to the site had been out for several days if not weeks at a time going on 3 to 4 weeks. So with these issues, a trip was planned to take care of these issues and make sure the radar was running fairly well (with known issues on the antennas).

Fort Hays Reflector Wire Repair Trip, Feb. 2017

By: ksterne  on: Mon., Feb. 27, 2017 01:38 PM EST  (1350 Reads)
Hays, KS sustained a major freezing rain and icing event in mid-January 2017. Following reports from FHSU student intern, Brett Chrisler, of significant damage to the West main antenna array a trip was made by engineer Kevin Sterne to assess the damage at the radar site. As well, this trip would be allow for preparations to be made for a future repair trip.

Blackstone Trip, Nov. 2016

By: ksterne  on: Mon., Nov. 07, 2016 03:34 PM EST  (1709 Reads)
After many, many years, the grounding work along the antenna poles had not been completed. On each antenna pole, a ground rod had been driven into the ground and a copper busbar had been attached under one of the bolts on the base of the pole. So a trip was made to the site by Kevin Sterne, Shibaji Chakraborty and Muhammad Rafiq to complete the grounding work.

Blackstone Trip, July 2016

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Sep. 02, 2016 03:17 PM EDT  (1833 Reads)
Brett Chrisler, the Fort Hays State University student intern, made a trip to the Blacksburg SuperDARN lab in early July. During his trip, Brett would review research areas that he can explore with our group as well as to make a trip to the Blackstone radar to show him another style of SuperDARN radar and gain more hands-on training.

Goose Bay Trip, June 2016

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Sep. 02, 2016 03:10 PM EDT  (1097 Reads)
The replacement of the ground coax is a longstanding project that needed to be completed at Goose Bay. In preparation for this project, a work order was placed with Serco to clear all the trees and brush that have taken over the antenna array grounds over the years.

Blackstone Trip, Jan. 2016

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Jan. 27, 2016 11:07 AM EST  (3121 Reads)
Shortly before the winter break, the internet connection to the radar site went down. Being patient since the availability of people to check on it would probably be low, the connection remained off over the two week winter break. However, our local contact was able to check on the connection for us and noted that the Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) power supply had melted and thus the internet connection was broken. The damage to the PoE unit and the RJ45 connector can be seen in the picture. In order to keep the linux computer’s hard drive from filling up, a trip to the radar site was made to restore the connection. In addition, this trip would be used to install the newly acquired and configured linux computer.

Blackstone Trip, Dec. 2015

By: ksterne  on: Tue., Dec. 22, 2015 02:38 PM EST  (3082 Reads)
With two visitors from the National Space Science Center (NSSC) in China visiting the Blacksburg lab for two weeks, a trip to the radar site was planned in order to show the visitors the operations and common testing of a working radar site. The visitors, Jiaojiao Zhang and Ailan Lan, as well as Muhammad Rafiq (VT doctoral candidate) and Kevin Sterne made a trip to the site in December. This trip would also serve as wrapping up some loose ends before the end of the year. These loose ends included reinstalling the SmartUPS that needed a new battery after it failed over the summer. Lastly, the Reverse Beacon Network receiver would be disassembled and taken back to the Blacksburg lab as the equipment had been setup on a temporary basis for testing at a radar site. The receiving antenna on top of a stack of antenna poles shortly before it was disassembled is seen in the picture.
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Fort Hays Tune Up Trip, Nov. 2015

By: ksterne  on: Tue., Dec. 22, 2015 11:06 AM EST  (1633 Reads)
Following the August 2015 trip to the Fort Hays radar, it was noticed that the East radar appeared to be less sensitive than the West radar. Prior to the August trip, it was believed that this might be due to operating on fewer antennas on the East radar as compared to the West radar. However, with the major repairs done to replacing the antenna feeder cables during the August trip this reason would not apply. So a trip was made by Kevin Sterne to test other a few other theories on why the East radar was less sensitive. As well, during this trip efforts would be made in making measurements to understand the time delays through the electronics. These efforts would help the radars begin to collect sensible elevation angle data.

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