CCERA restores motion control to the 12.8m dish

Since moving operations to the former-NATO site in Carp, in February 2022, CCERA have been exceedingly busy restoring functionality to the 12.8m dish. With generous support from Princeton University, we have been able to install a completely-modern servo-motor system from TekNic, Inc.. Initial software has been installed and tested, and we have been able to point-to, and track, astronomical objects with the dish, with a precision better than 0.06 degrees.

These motors, along with additional “prefix” gearboxes allow us to move the dish under computer control with high precision. The new motors consume a very-small fraction of the power of the original motor systems.

The precision achieved means that we can be confident in observations at 21cm, and will soon have an S-band feed system in place to allow tracking the Moon, allowing reception of lunar science mission data on missions that use S-band for the earth-directed down-link.