Perth city at sunset on the banks of the Swan River from my hotel room patio - first night in Australia!
The slanted building is WestBank; the square one is St. George's Terrace hotel.
Perth city at night
Not bad, even for a New Yorker!
David Herne's office at Curtin University. We did our preliminary system testing here on the desk at right.
Don smiles after the correlator fired up happily
Inspecting the baluns and receivers after their long voyage; no bad joints!
A hallway in the Applied Physics building at Curtin U.
The Applied Physics building at Curtin U. from the backside
I got to meet John de Laeter, one of Australia's most highly regarded physicists
Our "VariAC" transformer, which brought us from Australia's 240V, 50 Hz down to our 110V, 60 Hz. Notice the Australian plugs!
Just turn the dial to 110 (then tape the sucker down so it doesn't get bumped!)
An Aussie outlet clearly showing the voltage and AC frequency. Also take note of the little switch, which you find on every outlet down under.
Red is hot, green is Earth, black is neutral!
Pretty building in Perth central business district
The pedestrian mall in the Perth CBD. Clean, colorful, carnival-like!
David Herne's lovely groundscreens sitting in the driveway of his lovely home!
Ground screens and tropical plants
The master craftsman putting the finishing touches on
Toolbox kit #1
Toolbox kit #2
The CSIRO truck all loaded up the morning of our departure for Boolardy. The rental car sits next to it.
A closer look at the Boolardy load
Ron Beresford picks up some... uhh... important supplies!
Only the bare necessities!
The tavern where we all had a good burger on the way up to Boolardy.
Badgingarra is the one of the last "major" towns before Geraldton, which is one of the last "major" towns before Boolardy.
For the driving record...
More road signs... the route to Boolardy is Brand highway to Rt. 123 to the Beringerra Pindar Road.
As we raced through the desert trying to beat the Sunset...
More Rt. 123
A sign that listed quite a few homesteads... the lighting is bad but you can just make out "Boolardy Station - 197" if you turn up the brightness button on your monitor!
The awesome desert sunset behind the fan-like trees
On the Beringerra Pindar Road... the unsealed road that leads to Boolardy. We were able to achieve speeds of up to 100 km/h on this road!
We have just finished unloading the CSIRO truck here
The antenna unveiling is complete, thanks to John Richards and his power drill
The pallet served her purpose well...
Taking a break in his Coleman camping chair (yes, they sell Coleman stuff in Australia!)
Don and Dave hoist the GPS antenna
CSIRO's custom built trailer, complete with solar panels. The perfect equipment housing for our deployment!
The receiver enclosure, lined with conductive foam, ready to go!
From another angle
Me equipping the antennas with their mast collars. Like the hat? It's real kangaroo leather!
Securing the first balun was a "snap," literally
Making sure everything is just right
John Richards can fall asleep anywhere. He can also snore!
He was still snoozing, even after all the baluns were in place!
Antenna #3 gets carried out for hoisting on the groundscreen
First fringes (from the Sun), and first RFI (from a digital camera - yuck!)
Antennas #3 (foreground) and #4 (background), in short baseline (calibration) configuration
Antenna #3 still visible, but antenna #4 has since moved to its longer baseline
360 degree panoramic movie from atop the breakaway - a rocky structure which stood to the Northwest of our temporary site
The MWA trailer
The landscape is quite covered with vegetation in some areas, with clear patches scattered throughout. Vegetation density can change in a heartbeat!
This is about as barren as it gets
Another breakaway panoramic: #1
#7; our site is situated toward the middle of the screen in the back (invisible here)
I spotted some Minicircuits stuff in their trailer! Go Brooklyn!
An MWA tile
One MWA element
The MWA beamformer
Closeup of the beamformer
Just for a sense of scale... one of the MWA coax cables leading to the beamformer
The cable used for carrying DC power, munched on by some desert fauna
The terrace at Boolardy homestead; the door to the room I stayed in is at the back of the shot
Cutie pies Abigail (foreground) and Dex (background)
Entrance to the homestead main living area; the kitchen and dining room are inside
One of the buildings used for housing visitors (currently not being used)
The Boolardy windmill, which provides much of the homestead's energy in the winter
If you want a hot shower, you have to light a fire under the hot water tank to get it!
Where the men stayed. The computer room is on the far end, which contains the internet link to the world! This is where I sent all my emails from while at the station.
An example of the room the men slept in. Small, but has everything you need; a bed with sheets and pillow, a desk, a light, and an Aussie outlet for your battery charger!
Boolardy solar panel array
For Halleen family campfires?
My room at Boolardy. Rustic country style with two twin beds and a desk. I am told that this is where the maid would sleep if they had one. Thankfully, it was adjacent to the bathroom!
Look closely and you'll spot an emu in the bushes!
Kangaroo action shot! Now you can see why the Aussies refer to them as "skippies"
"Top Shed" (and yes, there is a "Bottom Shed" too). This is the main building but there are several smaller buildings surrounding it, on of which contains our stored antennas and cable.
The building in the foreground is where our equipment is stored (2nd window in from the left)
The Top Shed windmill
Is that an albino cow?
From left, David, Ben, and Edwina play on the banks of the Murchison during a Halleen family barbecue
You could tell where the river was from far away because it was lined with these beautiful white trees
We saw a Major Mitchell while eating our barbecue and drinking our billy tea, which is an endangered bird with white feathers and orange under its wings. It was hopping from tree to tree on the far bank.
Aerial shots taken from Mark's Cessna
If you look closely you can see a road in this one. The roads were wider and flatter than I expected-- in quite good shape.
This gives you a good sense of how patchy the landscape is
It is amazing how flat it was... note the road toward the top of the picture
Mark and Don man the cockpit!
Mark is having levees constructed all over the site to distribute water more evenly that washes down from the breakaways. This is a good example.
An aerial shot of the PAPER4-WAS array! It's a little blurry, but you can clearly make out 4 structures gleaming in the Sun.
The reflection of the airplane window is worse here, but you can still see all four elements, and from a different angle.
You can't see any antennas here, but you can see the CSIRO trailer and the general landscape in the area surrounding our site
The cable had no damage to it over the 10 days we were deployed.
The generator. CSIRO used it to juice up the battery bank in the trailer each day just to be safe, but it wasn't really needed thanks to the solar panels. When it was running, it was LOUD!
This gives you a sense of scale for the generator, showing that it wasn't very large.
Sunset behind Top Shed
This roof held up for over 100 years before it finally collapsed
Goat skeleton; the ground is peppered with bones everywhere you look...
Barracks for the 'roo shooters
The room we were going to use to set up our equipment, before we decided to move to the other site
We would have had to string our cables through this window
A termite hill. For scale, this is about 2 feet wide and a foot high. You could see one of these about every 10 meters.
I think the desert heat got to him a little bit...
I definitely visited Western Australia!
A fork in the road; Top Shed to the left, Manfred homestead a couple hundred km to the right!
Another gorgeous desert sunset
Horses and solar panels
David explained to me how this old-fashioned gas pump works; you pump the gas up from the ground with the lever into the clear bucket above, and an arrow ticks its way up the slot in the front showing how many liters were pumped. Then you drain the gas through the spigot at left. Neat!
Emu tracks. Gemma kindly offers up her foot for scale!
They use sticks instead of stones to mark graves in the desert
Sunset as seen by David, myself, and Edwina during our pre-dinner bird-watching excursion one night
Edwina and Venus; appropriate combination!
Some curious roos
They were determined to get a good look at us!
The PAPER-4 back-end all set up inside the enclosure
From another angle, so you can see the bulkhead
The work table fit perfectly over the battery bank. Thanks again to CSIRO and MWA for letting us use such a gorgeous trailer!
The frame was welded together and the panels sealed to keep the RFI out
I should send a picture of this to our cable manufacturer; you can clearly see the word "Commscope" printed on the cable jacket!
The four cables fit through the holes nicely; we would have had a problem fitting more than that, though!
CSIRO/MWA RFI monitoring station electronics. Nice RFI enclosure guys!
A closeup of the RFI monitor
The power supplies doing their thing.
These batteries were 2 feet long!
Fuzzy picture, but shows some of the wiring for the solar panels.
The specs of the solar panel batteries.
The company that made the MWA's RFI enclosure for their monitoring station
This is how the cables got piped in from the outside. This is also where we mounted the little USB temperature monitoring stick; it went inside on the left wall.
The company that made the nice mast which hoisted up our GPS receiver.
Our trusty (and apparently thrifty) rental vehicle; a Toyota Landcruiser.
Plenty of room in the back for our gear; we stashed all of our personal stuff in the back for the trip up to the homestead.
MWA's omni-directional antenna, used for the RFI monitor
David put gauze in every seam; that enclosure is RFI *tight*!
Nice work, David!
Tiny, but aggravating; one of the thousands of flies that annoyed me throughout the trip!
The specs for the solar panels at the site
The company where the solar panel equipment was purchased
All dried up
Zoom in; it's a wedge-tailed eagle!
Goats, a.k.a. cable chewers, frolicking in the road
Antenna #2's balun mating board apparently did not have all of its flux cleaned off, because there was some chemical reaction that took place. The pale yellow build up could be scraped off easily.
David, understandably proud of his professional cable winding job!
All packed up and ready to deposit at Top Shed. Mark lent us this trailer, which happened to be just the right size to fit our crates!
Antennas, groundscreens, and cable stored at Top Shed
A disturbing sight...
You can clearly see the water level of the January 2006 flood on this sign
Over 2 meters high!
Another great sign that you would only see in a place like that!
I think Microsoft gets their XP backdrops from Western Australia!
David tells me this is a wheat field
The Indian Ocean panoramic: #1
Nice rainbow, not so nice driving conditions on the way home...
Just for the record... we took the Brand Highway home
The trailer situated inside the radio astronomy park at Curtin U.
Just to show how much power is available inside the trailer
This place was air conditioned at one time...
The radio astronomy park. It is fenced in on all sides, and students cannot access it without special permission. It will be available for two more years, at which time a building will be constructed there.
Don and Merv in the park. You can see that it is actually pretty large here...
The outside of the trailer; also shows that there is a convenient road leading into the place
Bruco Engineering's main floor. Holy smokes, that is a drill press!!!
An example of Bruco's work; not sure what this is for, but I thought it was pretty!
An example of Bruco's welding skills; this piece was to be used in equipment for a mining operation
One of many gorgeous fountains in Sydney, near my hotel. The sign in the right background gives the distances to many major cities around the world, including New York!
The harbour bridge in Sydney harbour... oh my gosh, look how I just spelled harbor! Twice!
Another view of the harbour bridge, from the terrace in front of the Opera House
This aboriginal band plays in Sydney Harbour everyday. You usually have to pay a "gold coin" (one or two dollars in Australian currency) to take a picture, but I'm sneaky!
Circular Quay (pronounced "key") is the central hub of Sydney Harbour
Australians are very proud of their British heritage
A view of the opera house from the ferry
These crazy rich people are participating in the most coveted tourist attraction in Sydney; the "bridge climb." Crazy because you have to strap yourself together (so if one falls, all fall!) and rich because it costs over $100 AUD to participate! If you do it, you get the best views of Sydney possible...
They made it to the top!
Beautiful engineering on this bridge
It doesn't get more "Sydney" than this; a view of the Opera House looking through the Harbour bridge!
Sydney has its own version of Coney Island, which they dub "Luna Park." The clown face at the entrance scares me...
Darling Harbour, so called because it is the "Darling" of Sydney; not as much of a tourist trap as Sydney Harbour, the atmosphere here is laid back and the shopping and food is great. Not to mention the fountains...
... speak of the devil!
This really neat exhibit called "The Earth From Above" was going on the day I visited Darling Harbour. Many beautiful shots of unique and interesting landforms and other Earthen features
Another great fountain... you can walk on two of the paths to get down to the center, like these kids have done.
My first-ever submarine spotting (at the Sydney Maritime Museum)
The Aquarium, where I got to see sharks and stingrays and crocodiles, oh my!
Sydney's Sky Tower, where you can eat in a fancy rotating restaurant. The highest building in Sydney.
Hard to make out, but this is a duck-billed platypus
A sea turtle
The saltwater croc
Best sign of the entire trip!
The only animal Australians are afraid of!
A "Freshie" (freshwater alligator)... not nearly as big and scary as the "Saltie"
A sea urchin!
Three rows of teeth visible in this picture... there are actually 7!
An anemone and a clownfish (this was part of the Nemo exhibit)!
Bondi Beach panoramic (Pacific Ocean). North of Sydney, this beach was so cold the day I went that I took this series of pics and left immediately without even sticking my hand in the water!
Me and my future sister-in-law, Megan
Gimme a break... they have these here too?
Views of Sydney from the monorail, which you can loop around the city in for $4.50 AUD per ride
Megain in the monorail; the cute little cabin only seated 8
A historic building in downtown Sydney near City Hall
Aaron's CORE poster, on display at CSIRO
Don, Ron Ekers, me, Dave DeBoer, and Aaron Chippendale. This was our last night in Australia!