As reported in our piece on the site survey, we need to accurately model the region where we intend to put the KAIRA antennas. Unlike most LOFAR stations, KAIRA is located in pretty rugged terrain. This means that finding a suitable space is not as easy as it first appears. Especially when we are trying to avoid cutting down trees and keeping our impact on the Arctic wilderness to the barest minimum.
The site we have selected fits these requirements pretty well. The ground is mostly material from civil works, allowing us to re-use an existing development. However, the space is not easy to work in, especially when the main antenna array has an area of over 1200 m2., which needs to be levelled to an accuracy of ±3 cm. As a result, we need to consider well the exact location of the array and the amount of levelling required.
The plot shown here is from part of that analysis work. From the survey results, a topographic mesh is fitted to the data. That is then interpolated to derive a working model of the surface. From this, the detailed planning and layout can be completed.
The map is oriented with North at the top and the direction to the EISCAT VHF transmitter marked.