Tuesday 31 July 2012

The LBA cable mausoleum

As we've seen recently, we've been adapting cables to get the suitable lengths. However, these lengths are still fixed, and the antennas themselves are are quasi random distances. Thus, there is additional cable to "bury". On conventional LOFAR stations, this is done by physically burying them... hence the term "cable grave". On the KAIRA site, due to the freezing ground and other environmental complications, we have ours encased above ground in a so-called "mausoleum".

Today, as promised, we have some photographs of the fitting of the cables in the LBA mausoleum.

The LBA cable mausoleum. Seen strewn about are some cables that are only partly deployed. To allow us to stop things from getting mixed up and tangled, they are drawn out along the site until they are ready to be inserted into the ducts. (Photo: D. McKay-Bukowski)

The "U-boat hatch". This pipe goes down into the ground to where the entrances to the long main cable ducts are. This is a very cramped space and is quite difficult to work in. (Photo: D. McKay-Bukowski)

Paying out the draw string for the cables. The total duct length is over 50m and pulling the lines through this length can be quite challenging. Even after we opened the intermediate draw pits the force required on the lines is still quite high. (Photo: D. McKay-Bukowski)

Surplus cable in the mausoluem itself. We took immense care to ensure that no looping occurred in the cables as they are folded into the space. (Photo: D. McKay-Bukowski)

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