“Crucial cold receivers successfully installed on KAT-7”
On 8 August 2011, all seven dishes of the KAT-7 telescope had been successfully fitted with “cold” radio receivers. These receivers, designed and manufactured by EMSS in Stellenbosch, are cryogenically cooled to temperatures of about 70 Kelvin, or -203 celsius. This significantly lowers the noise floor of the telescope system, which enables scientists to make observations with significantly better sensitivity, thereby “seeing” much fainter objects than would otherwise be possible.
The successful installation of the 7th cold receiver is a significant milestone that marks the last major hardware installation effort on KAT-7 by the engineering team. It coincides with the formal acceptance of the KAT-7 correlator, which means that KAT-7 is now ready for more in-depth interferometric commissioning. The Science Processing Team wasted no time to start producing radio images with the new receivers.
Published in SKA South Africa Newsletter No. 15 – Sept/Oct 2011.