SPIDER 500A installed at the Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences – SCASS (Dubai, UAE)
Radio2Space SPIDER 500A, the 5 meter diameter professional radio telescope, has been installed at the Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences, close to Dubai in the United Arabic Emirates. In the picture, from the right: Filippo Bradaschia (PrimaLuceLab president), Issam S. Abujami (SCASS IT & System Specialist), Professor Ilias Fernini (SCASS Professor of Physics and Astronomy), Omar Cauz (head designer of PrimaLuceLab) and Dario Gava (PrimaLuceLab installation services manager).
Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences mission is to develop and promote astronomy education and space sciences in the Arab World in general, particularly in the UAE. The center has many attractions such as a planetarium, an astronomy and a space exhibition, an astronomical observatory and now a 5 meter diameter radio telescope.
SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope was shipped by PrimaLuceLab to the installation location, just in front of the Sharjah Center. For the first step, the PrimaLuceLab team installed the large pier on the concrete base that was prepared by the customer based on designs provided by PrimaLuceLab.
With the help of some heavy machinery, the team positioned the large WP-400 mount head (350 kgs in weight) onto the pier. All parts of the radio telescope mount come preinstalled from our factory and all of the mechanical parts have been designed to operate in the difficult desert conditions.
The installation team then prepared the very large antenna and support system, which is designed to be divided into 12 smaller sections for easier shipping. The PrimaLuceLab team designed this complex rear support system to create a rigid structure keeping the main reflector at the optimal parabolic shape.
With the use of a crane, the antenna has been properly positioned on the mount head (a height of 3 meters above the terrain level). The PrimaLuceLab team securely attaches the antenna to the mount support system – This way the entire radio telescope is very rigid, designed to work with the high winds that can be quite common in the desert.
Having installed all the necessary parts, the PrimaLuceLab team connected all the cables (2 RF cables that connect the LNA units to receiver, one cable for mount data plus power and one cable for the noise generator), then calibrated the movement of the antenna of the SPIDER 500A professional radio telescope and verified the focus position of the antenna.
After installing the H142-One receiver and RadioUniversePRO software in the properly built control room, the SPIDER 500A radio telescope will provide to Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences a great instrument for education and research!