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The NAAPO Newsletter
Volume 22, No. 2
September 2006
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Written by: Phil Barnhart, NAAPO Coordinator, 4655 Indian Ct., Westerville, OH 43082


Argus Off-Air Much of Past Three Months

Failure of a hard disc early in the summer caused a short-term shutdown of the Argus Array. About the time a replacement was installed a noticeable increase in the laboratory temperature occurred. Speculation followed that elevated temperature might be the cause of the hard drive failure. Chief observer Russ Childers proceeded to track the operation of the central air conditioner. He found that when the compressor started up it would shut down after about 30 seconds. His diagnosis leaned toward a burned out fan motor or compressor motor.

Maintenance was called. Their diagnosis was a faulty relay. They replaced one and left. The problem persisted. Three months and weekly reminders to maintenance has resulted in no change in the status of the air conditioner. Now that cooler weather has returned, the computers have been turned back on and observations have begun again. The air conditioner still remains inoperable.

One consequence of the long downtime is the inability to test the next ten LNAs (Low Noise Amplifiers) and Digital Receivers assembled by Phil Covington and Ange Campanella. This will be undertaken in the next few weeks.

Array is Building to 32 Elements

The current 22-element array is being expanded to 32 elements. This is being accomplished by construction of the electronic elements and fabrication of ten more spiral elements. The task is about complete. The expansion should be complete about the end of December.

Advantages of this expansion will be the ability to expand the arrangement of the array and try some new aspects of the placements of the individual elements. There will be approximately 30% increase in sensitivity.

NAAPO Logo Mugs are Now Available

A supply of NAAPO mugs with a full color logo is now on hand. We are happy to offer a mug as a symbol of appreciation for tax deductible donations to the NAAPO cause. A photo of the mug is included below.

Arrangements for such donations may be made (or a check made out) to:

    4655 Indian Court
    Westerville, Ohio   43082-8817

[Click on photo for a larger-size version.]

Cosmic Search Now Available On-Line

Well over a year has been donated by Jerry Ehman to scan and format all 13 issues of Cosmic Search Magazine for inclusion on the Big Ear Website (www.bigear.org). Everyone may now access this publication at will (go to the main menu item "Cosmic Search Magazine Online"). Everything in each magazine is included, even advertisements. Both HTML (browser-readable) and PDF (Portable Document Format, i.e., Adobe Acrobat) versions of each article are available.

Cosmic Search was a valuable source of information about SETI and related topics that was published by the Big Ear radio observatory staff. There has been considerable interest in this publication even after 25 years since its cessation of publication. Complete hard copy sets of the publication have been nearly exhausted and we have been unable to provide them to donors for some time.

This is just one more service provided by the NAAPO volunteers furthering the cause of SETI.

Access to Argus Array Not Blocked This Year

Concrete barriers have not been erected to block terrorists from the OSU research reactor during the present football season. Thus, we have not been inconvenienced in our bi-weekly meetings. Long hikes to the laboratory are a thing of the past.

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Copyright © 2006 North American AstroPhysical Observatory
Created by Jerry Ehman.
Last modified: September 28, 2006