The ASKAP Panorama Gallery


A photo of Balthasar, courtesy former resident VIP photographer Cornelia Brem

Welcome to my ASKAP Panorama Gallery. My name is Balthasar Indermühle and I am a Senior Experimental Scientist with CSIRO, and an avid amateur photographer. Whenever I get to enjoy the privilege of work related travel, I bring my camera gear along and create panoramas to allow my family, friends, colleagues, and armchair explorers to see some of the beautiful and interesting locations I get to visit. I hope you enjoy this little tour of the ASKAP telescope site in the Murchison Radio Observatory (MRO) deep in the heart of West Australia.

The Panoramas

Click on the preview image to step into the respective panorama.

This birds-eye perspective of the inner core of the ASKAP/BETA array shows the antennas forming the shortest baselines available. 1, 3, 8 and 15 (all are visible, can you find them? Hint: They're the ones currently observing). You can clearly see the difference between the BETA and the ADE (ASKAP) phased array feeds (PAFs). My colleague Tom Cox is giving us a big smile from up high.
This is a view from nearby antenna AK35 towards the outer reaches of the ASKAP. In the picture are Christoph and Cornelia Brem, former EMC workgroup leader and his wife, the resident VIP photographer.
A short distance away from one of the access roads (yet on a well trodden path) lies Quartz Hill. A loose pile of quartz, the remainder of an intrusion in geological times long past, is slowly weathering away in this otherwise sedimentary rock dominated landscape. It provides a beautiful overview of the central part of the ASKAP array.
This is the western facing side of the main building at the MRO site. It's impossible to tell that on the inside of this unassuming building, some of the world's most sophisticated hardware and software are working their magic, transporting tremendous amounts of data through fibre optic links from the antennae.
Moving inside the building through an RFI lock (two big doors ascertaining no radio signals can escape the building) we find ourselves in an office area. There are no windows, and the breathing air is carefully controlled with oxygen and carbon monoxide sensors, it looks and feels almost as if being in a space station! Beyond the work desks (which look just like desks, hence no picture) we enter the electronics lab. At the back of this panorama you can see one of the big, heavy doors leading into the second RFI lock, behind which another door of the same size waits to be opened after the first door is closed. This is to make sure that no interference signals can leave the building and spoil observations.
Stepping to the right from the electronics lab, we find the mechanical workshop. Note the metal sliding door which provides RFI protection to the outside, as does the metal shielding on the ceilings.
Having finally made it past the second RFI lock we find ourselves in the inner sanctum of the observatory: The screened room (aka server room). This is where currently many of the racks are waiting to be equipped with the hardware that will one day soon be harbouring the world's most powerful centimetre wavelength telescope. This picture is centered on the RFI rack where I installed much of my own monitoring equipment on this trip.
When working at this remote site we stay at the Boolardy Homestead, which has its own Runway (even with solar powered lights!). Here we see morning dawn in the east, Mercury, Venus, Saturn, Jupiter and the Moon all visible at the same time. The sandflies unfortunately were wide awake at 4:30am when I took this picture on Jan 28 2016.
On the last night of my trip I managed to get this beautiful panorama looking down the "business end" of the runway and up into our galaxy that seems to extend out of the runway. To the right you can see our sister galaxies, the small and large magellanic clouds.