ALFA Timeline

May 2002 Call for declaration of interest by potential ALFA users
Jul 2002 Contract signed with CSIRO for construction of multibeam receiver system
Sep 2002 Multibeam receiver interface meeting at Arecibo, including discussion of front-end specifications and design
Nov 2002 Final design of receiver system set. Manufacturing of receiver system begins
Sep 2003 Feed array manufacture
Dec 2003 Feed array testing completed
Feb 2004 Receiver construction completed
Mar 7-22, 2004 Receiver acceptance tests at CSIRO completed
Mar 22-26, 2004 Gregorian dome rotary floor refurbishment
Mar 24, 2004 ALFA Frontend packed-up and shipped from CSIRO to Arecibo
Apr 1, 2004 ALFA receiver delivered to Arecibo
Apr 1-18, 2004 ALFA pre-installation testing
Apr 19-20, 2004 ALFA frontend installation in Gregorian dome
Apr 21, 2004 ALFA commissioning begins
Aug 2004 ALFA shared-risk precursor surveys begin
Feb 2005 Major ALFA surveys begin
Apr 16, 2007 ALFA removed for telescope painting
Dec 10, 2007 ALFA reinstalled after painting

ALFA: from Australia to Arecibo


hot/sky testing in Australia

measuring Tsys with a cold load

filling the load with liquid nitrogen

ice crystals formed on the load

packing up at Marsfield

ALFA is delivered: April 1, 2004

taking possession of ALFA

Barbara is happy to see ALFA!

ALFA disassembly in the Transmitter Lab

test drive ALFA down the bowl

ALFA loaded on the truck

ALFA left on the truck overnight

preparing to hoist ALFA

raising ALFA

ALFA soars

ALFA approaches the dome

ALFA entering the dome

ALFA lowered into the rotary floor

ALFA is installed

ALFA is installed

Pictures courtesy of Steve Torchinsky

ALFA Re-Installation after Telescope Painting


Ready to roll [med] [big]

Top view [med] [big]

ALFA's raincoat [med] [big]

Duct tape rules! [med] [big]

A new day dawns [med] [big]

Driving under the dish [med] [big]

Launch preparations [med] [big]

Up, up, and away! [med] [big]

ALFA is lifted through the center of the dish [med] [big]

A long way to go [med] [big]

ALFA rising [med] [big]

ALFA approaches the platform [med] [big]

The Gregorian dome is driven toward ALFA [med] [big]

The platform crew take hold of ALFA [med] [big]

The protective wrapping is removed [med] [big]

Safely inside the Gregorian dome [med] [big]

Pictures courtesy of Dana Whitlow and Robert Michin