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Session 57 - Instrumentation & Information Science.
Oral session, Thursday, January 08

[57.01] The New Arecibo Telescope: Status and Performance

D. B. Campbell, M. M. Davis, P. F. Goldsmith, P. J. Perillat (National Astronomy and Ionosphere Center)

First light for the upgraded Arecibo 305m telescope was achieved on October 18, 1997. The tie down system was used on October 17 to lower the telescope's suspended structure by approximately 18 inches to bring the new Gregorian optics into focus. Initial observations were made at 1410 MHz over the weekend of October 17/18 to check the focus, measure the system sensitivity and develop an initial pointing model. These early measurements of the sensitivity and sidelobe response indicate that the sensitivity and beamwidth are close to their design values with some tweaking of the optics still required.

The telescope's pointing system is fully operational and capable of tracking celestial objects over the telescope's full range of azimuth and zenith angles. Receiver systems currently installed for use with the Gregorian reflector system cover bands centered on 430 MHz, 1400 MHz and 5 GHz. Additional systems including a broad band system covering 1365 to 1700 MHz, will be added over the coming months.

Program listing for Thursday