The elevation motors are working for northeast (NE) and southwest (SW). Others will be tested later. The southwest telescope is powered by white and green wires (big and stripped). It also has a potentiometer which was apparently used for calibration of the dish position. Both the southwest and northeast dishes had micro-switches that stops motion.
We checked the current to the altitude motor in SW corner. At 20 volts we measured between 5 and 5.5 amps. We received the coax and 2 couplers from distributor. We are preparing to order more from The Wireman.
The project will be funded largely through donations from alumni and friends of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The money will be used to purchase the receivers for the radio telescopes. The observatory will benefit from having several of the telescopes because the image created by combining the signals of many is much clearer than that received by only one. Astronomers are using 10-foot radio dishes, such as the ones that were once used to pick up satellite TV signals. Dr. Dan Bruton and Mr. Michael Johnson have collected four dishes so far from the yards of Nacogdoches residences.
While optical telescopes are able to accurately measure light only in clear conditions, the radio telescopes can be used in cloudy weather and can be used to gather information 24-hours a day, even when researchers are not at the location. The first project planned after the radio telescopes have been installed will be to map the Milky Way Galaxy. Here's a diagram of the radio telescope arrangement.
With the help of Don Carona from the Texas A&M observatory we have made a GPS map of the site to measure the distances between the radio telescopes. We have also purchased 3.5” diameter poles and concrete for the radio telescopes and placed order for radio receivers from Radio Astronomy Supplies.
On June 10th an article appeared in the Daily Sentinel. We received 36+ phone calls and 12+ email messages from Nacogdoches citizen that wanted to donate their 10-foot radio dishes.
The radio astronomy project was initiated at SFA by Michael Johnson as part of his
For more information contact Dan Bruton or check out the