Blackstone Trip, Dec. 2015

By: ksterne  on: Tue., Dec. 22, 2015 02:38 PM EST  (3038 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  (1588 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.

Kapuskasing Coaxial Upgrade - Oct. 2015

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Nov. 06, 2015 12:59 PM EST  (1545 Reads)
As part of an outstanding project to upgrade accessibility to the array as well as to improve the performance of the radar, the Kapuskasing radar had two major projects completed within the last couple of months. The first of these projects was improving the current road from the radar building to the main array road as well as creating a brand new road from the main array road out and along the interferometer array. The second project was replacing the aged coaxial cables that carry signals from the antennas to the radar building which was performed by Kevin Sterne and Mike Ruohoniemi in mid- to late-October 2015.

Goose Bay Riometer Installation - Oct. 2015

By: ksterne  on: Thu., Nov. 05, 2015 03:17 PM EST  (1656 Reads)
Over the Summer 2015 in talks between VT SuperDARN and University of Calgary groups, it was noticed that there was a gap in riometer coverage in the Labrador area. The University of Calgary group was interested in installing a riometer at the Goose Bay SuperDARN site in order to fill in this gap. After a few months of planning and coordination, a trip was made by Kevin Sterne (from VT) and Craig Unick (University of Calgary) to the Goose Bay site to install the riometer.

Fort Hays Antenna Array Trip - August 2015

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Aug. 28, 2015 01:05 PM EDT  (2351 Reads)
After a decrease in sensitivity on the Fort Hays radars, Kevin Sterne and Mike Ruohoniemi made a trip the week of August 16th to the 22nd 2015 to Hays, KS in order to assess parts needing repairs and perform what repairs could be completed. In the weeks prior to this trip, FHSU student intern Ryan White reported a few wires hanging down along the antenna arrays as well as problems with the antennas. Also, in the weeks or up to a month before the trip, one of the computers at the site began locking up.

Quick trip to Blackstone to install transmitters

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Apr. 10, 2015 09:44 AM EDT  (3076 Reads)
A quick day trip was made by Kevin Sterne and Deven Chheda on March 27th, 2015 in order to install some repaired transmitters and give a look at the site to see how things were going. This trip was originally planned after an extended network outage as well as a fear that one of the computers at the site had gone bad. However, in the days leading up to the trip the network connection as well as the issue with the computer were corrected. This left us with smaller but also important issues to complete during this trip. One of these was to install two of the four transmitters that were being worked on in the Blacksburg lab. These two had been repaired and were ready to be installed back at the site. As well, a range calibration was performed during this trip as it was noticed that sometime in mid-September, the radar's range appeared to be off. As well, this would be Deven's first trip to a SuperDARN site, so the operations and systems were explained to Deven.
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