Engineering


The engineering team has been focusing on three main areas; civil engineering, electrical engineering, and software. Each group is focusing on the different technical aspects of the project from frame structure and foundations to electrical equipment and analysis.

Build Day 3 – Erecting the Stand


29 September 2015

Build stage 3 involved fixing the telescope stand to the hardened concrete base. High power drills were used to drill 6 holes directly into the concrete before the steel stand could be securely bolted in place. The piles used have to be sufficently long and strong enough to endure the 100+kg of telescope equipement on…READ MORE

Build Day 2 – Foundations


15 September 2015

With the location for telescope confirmed and foundations dug in build day 1. The stage stage of the construction process concerned the foundations. There was considerable debate amongst the engineering team as the nature of the foundations. Research of previous systems revealed a varity of methods, from digging a big hole and filling it with…READ MORE

Computerising XRT-C


18 August 2015

Up until this point, we’ve focused a lot on the engineering and electronics of the telescope. That part of the development process is thankfully thriving. However, we’ve not taken a lot of time to look at the final component of the pipeline; the computer. The plan from the start has been to computerise the telescope….READ MORE

Build Day One!


30 July 2015

On 16th May, members of the team headed to Caradon for our first build day. The plan: dig the foundations – a hole, roughly 1m square and 1m deep, which we will fill with concrete. Once the concrete has hardened, the supporting pole can be firmly screwed on and then finally the dish placed on…READ MORE

Telescope Electronics


09 June 2015

Purchasing the primary components of Radio Telescope was always going to be the easier part of the project. Connecting them and getting them talking together is an all-together trickier task. Quickly it became apparent that we were dealing with different types of wire connectors. Research each of our various components on the source website –…READ MORE

Unpacking the dish


30 April 2015

On March 7th the Dish arrived at Caradon Observatory from RF Hamdesign (in the Netherlands). The team paid a visit to survey the instrument and catch up with Ken, the owner of Caradon. The dish arrived as series of large boxes. Inside we found the kit and components needed to assemble the 4.5m dish. The…READ MORE

Telescope components have arrived!


30 April 2015

Following months of hard work by procurement and finance teams, the all important components for the telescope are starting to arrive and stack up on the spare desk in my office. Following the arrival and delivery of the dish to Caradon, we took delivery of the support and motor mechanism. These were bought from RF…READ MORE

Deciding Where to Place the Dish


16 March 2015

Having had the dish delivered to Caradon, we visited the sight to take a look and decide where we will put it. We wanted to select a location for the telescope taking into account interference sources, ground and distance to the control room. The only source of interference is a small power line at the…READ MORE

#NSSC2015


03 March 2015

This weekend, delegates from the XRT-C team went to the UKSEDS National Student Space Conference. This is an annual meeting of students from astronomy and space societies across the country, featuring various astrophysics big names, and this year even an engineering model of the Mars Rover! The weekend started at 5:30am, with the seven sleepy…READ MORE

Dish order imminent


24 January 2015

Following some technical difficulties dealing with university finance (again) we are due to to place the order for the 4.5 m dish from RF Hamdesign. We are ordering 4.5 m prime focus mesh dish kit (F/D = 0.45). Mesh dishes work just as well solid dish telescopes are much cheaper and easier to construct and…READ MORE

New components arrive


12 September 2014

Our first components arrived by post. Check out our ZX60-P162LN+ Amplifiers and NBP-1560+ High band pass filter!

Important – Project schedule update


29 April 2014

The XRT-Station project has taken some important steps forward over the last few weeks. The Team leadership have been taking this recent progress as a chance step back and review the progress of the project. Back in November last year we composed a plan for the project. By May we were hoping to have secured…READ MORE