Annual Review Meeting
Last week almost all of EISCAT staff met up for our Annual Review Meeting (ARM). Due to the pandemic it has been three years since last time. During our meeting we got status reports form all EISCAT sites, Tromsø, Sodankylä, Svalbard, Kiruna, Headquarters and of course all three EISCAT 3D constructions sites. Time flies and we had a lot to catch up on and discuss.
EISCAT 3D site visit
To complete our meeting, we all got to visit the EISCAT 3D construction site in Skibotn, Norway. The installation of antenna units is ongoing. The Skibotn main site will consist of 109 antenna units (AU), along with almost 10 000 small diopole antennas mounted on a ground plane on top of containers with equipment for power, ventilation and such. In addition 10 antenna units will be placed around the main site, for calibration and wider possibilities for measurements.
The installation of EISCAT 3D Skibotn is done by a Norwegian company, Lastbilscentralen. The procedure for the installation is the same in all the sites. With the feet being places exactly right, then the container is lowered onto the feet. The ground plane is assembled and thereafter lifted into position. The small antennas is mounted later and a lot of cables need to be connected. The last piece is to connect the all hexagonal ground planes to one big.
Guided tour around the site
At the site visit EISCAT 3D Project Leader Mr. Johans Svensson walked us around, making sure that we did not interfere with the installation and that all of us were keeping clear of the crane and heavy machinery. We got a little taste of how the site will look like once it is done, walking through the corridors under the ground plane.
It is a while until the site is done, but as long as the weather is stable, the installation continues. Thereafter big work with the cables will start. Over 200 cables for one hexagonal antenna unit, just for the diopole antennas. In addition to this, power and network cables to each antenna unit.
Radio waves and interference
The site is enclosed with an intrusion fence, both for keeping local wild life out and for keeping people from getting in the way when working in the site. Later on a five meter high radio frequency (RF) fence will be added. This is to make sure that radio waves from the environment, e. g. mobil/cellphone communication and DAB-radio communication, do not interfere with the radar when in use. The location of the site with the high mountains surrounding it, also help in keeping other radio frequencies out.
Miscellaneous information (may differ from actual) :
- 4,5 meter high to the top of the diopole antenna
- 7 meter in diameter for one hexagonal antenna unit
- 70 meter in diameter for whole antenna field (109 AU)
- 10 000 diopole antennas in this site
- 109 + 10 antenna units in this site
- 2 buildings, site building and garage
- transformer buildings for power
- fence to keep wild life and trespassers out
- RF-fence (5 meter high)