|History of Antenna Technology at the Arecibo Observatory, Arecibo Puerto Rico
|Year of Conference
|HamSCI Workshop 2021
|Scranton, PA (Virtual)
The Arecibo Observatory first opened in 1963 and has been a marvel in engineering ever since. It has been a monumental instrument for scientific research in the fields of astronomy, planetary radar, ionospheric probing and HF heating modification, and optical probing of the atmosphere. While the science and the discoveries are well known to many, the antenna technology and engineering are equally as impressive as the discoveries. The original concept, by Prof. William Gordon in the Electrical Engineering Department at Cornell University, was for a 1000 foot parabolic dish aiming only at zenith, with no tracking capability for studies of the ionosphere with the newly developed technique of incoherent scatter radar (ISR). Fortunately, knowledge of some on going research with spherical reflectors was suggested where the feed could be moved to slew the beam. The rest is history that will be the described in this talk up to the collapse. Most of the 430 MHz 96 foot line feed broke off and fell through the dish in 2017 during Hurricane Maria. Then in December 2020, the platform fell into the dish destroying large sections of the dish and the equipment in the platform. There is so much more to tell about the engineering at Arecibo that will be the subject of this presentation at HamSCI 2021.