View Full Version : Radio Telescope Dishes
2002-Aug-13, 02:59 PM
I bought "The Dish" at the weekend and watched it last night. Very enjoyable.
Now, having seen a dish in action at close range, I wondered - how on earth do they get 1,000 tons to balance on that tower, besides getting it up there in the first place? Any websites that might have information on this?
2002-Aug-13, 06:49 PM
On 2002-08-13 10:59, Conrad wrote:
...I wondered - how on earth do they get 1,000 tons to balance on that tower, besides getting it up there in the first place? Any websites that might have information on this?
This isn't exactly the answer to your question but it's related: active surface (http://www.nrao.edu/news/gbt_activesurface.shtml)
2002-Aug-13, 11:10 PM
I can't go into all of the details but it's actually pretty easy. You build what's called a balanced cantalever structure. First you build a support structure (tower). then a pointing structure (alt.Az or equitorial mount), then the dish. As you build the dish out in one direction you build a counter weight structure out in the other direction. When you're finished, hypotheticly, the whole cantalever structure will balance on the pointing structure so you can point the dish in whatever direction you want.
As my mechanics prof. used to say: "Design a bridge, 50% credit. Build a bridge, 50% credit. The bridge falls down, NO PARTIAL CREDIT!" /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_lol.gif
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