On July 28th, 2017, the fourth radio telescope of the Astropeiler began test operations with a “First Light”. The first successful radio astronomical measurement with the new 3m telescope was a complete success!
However, it was a long road to the successful test measurements, because a mirror alone with a rotor does not make a measurement possible. And what to do with a 3m mirror when the Stockert already has two impressive and very successful parabolic mirrors?
So, what could be more obvious than applying it for educational purposes – a stroke of luck for the Stockert learning center!
What measures, what developments had to take place? We needed a stable mirror stand with a counterweight, a rotor control, a feed horn, an LNA, an astronomical control, a backend, an educational concept, and of course – people to make it happen.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Rotarians Euskirchen Burgfey as part of their “Youth and Technology” project and the valuable support of Mr. Krosch, co-owner of the metal construction company Hecker&Krosch, a suitable stand with counterweight was developed and built.
A feed horn was developed and calibrated by ourselves, the limitations of the rotor were supplemented by additions to the mechanics and electronics, and the specially developed rotor control was tested.
In July 2017, everything was ready, and a first attempt could be made. When a new telescope is first put into operation, it is called “first light”.
This milestone was reached on July 28th.
Subsequently, further setup, calibration, and further test measurements were carried out. Now, the new instrument is available and should be used by schools.
File attachment (only in german):
Bauanleitung 21-cm Feedhorn mit einfachen Mitteln von Gerhard Stramm (pdf 12 MB)