AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 136 Long Wavelength Array
Poster, Wednesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 11, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[136.05] The Site of the Long Wavelength Demonstration Array (LWDA)

P. C. Crane (NRL), W. H. Gerstle, E. Aguilera, Y. M Pihlstrom (UNM)

We document the selection of the site for the Long Wavelength Demonstration Array (LWDA). The site is located just inside the southwest corner of the central section of the Very Large Array. The VLA site has been chosen because of the availability of land, for easy access to power and an optical fiber connection to the VLA correlator and to 74-MHz signals from VLA antennas, and because VLA resources might be available to assist in the site preparation. The site chosen is flat but slopes downward 2 degrees to the north. The soil is sandy and firm but well drained with a low, thin vegetative cover. The site, consequently, will not require significant earthmoving, stripping of vegetation, nor a layer of gravel to stabilize the soil. These factors will greatly reduce the cost of developing the site compared to the previous choice.

A road will connect the site to a gate near the Antenna Assembly Building; and optical fiber, to the VLA optical-fiber network at station CW7. The local electric cooperative will bury 1600 feet of power cable from their nearby high-voltage power line to the site. The site will be fenced in and an electronics hut installed. Then the locations for the individual dipoles will be surveyed, the mounts and masts erected, and the power and digital cables installed. Finally, the receivers and blades will be installed.

Soil tests indicate that the mounts will be easily driven to the desired depth to hold the antennas firmly in place. Experience with a test antenna showed the necessity for an anti-antelope fence and other measures to protect the equipment from the local fauna.

Radio astronomy at the Naval Research Laboratory is supported by the Office of Naval Research.

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