2nd - 9th March - testing, testing, testing ... hippos and food poisoning

19 March 2013 by Angela Taylor

Pieter lowering the liquid nitrogen test load into place above the C-BASS feedhorn and receiver.

Testing carried on all week and Charlie also got all the electronics in the lab working again too.

One of the first tests we wanted to do was to check how sensitive the receiver is. We did this back in Oxford in the lab by comparing the response of the receiver to a hot load (absorbing material at 300K) and a cold load (liquid nitrogen at 77k) - check out our earlier blog entry. However, now that we can see the sky, we can get an even better measurement since the sky is even colder and is about about 6K. The guys at HartRAO built us a sling to hold our liquid nitrogen container so that it coud deasily be lifted into place. It looks a bit crazy, but it works.

We also managed to take a day off at the weekend, so Jamie and I drove to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve to try and see some more wildlife. It was a fantastic day - we saw zebras, elephants, giraffes, various buck/deer like things, warthogs, wildebeest and hippos. I can't resist putting in this picture (below) of a yawning hippo. Unfortunately Jamie managed to get food poisoning as a result of our trip ... hot cars and food do not mix well!

Pieter transferring the liquid nitrogen into our test container.

Jamie checking out the electronics rack inside the lab.

A yawning hippo