back to article Kiwi satellite earth station recycled – as radio telescope

Auckland University of Technology (AUT) is celebrating “first light” from its new radio telescope – a 30m, 30-year-old former satellite Earth station that was once New Zealand's primary link to the outside world. The AUT telescope is now getting ready for a mission studying star formation, the centre of the Milky Way, galactic …

  1. DJV Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Excellent!

    I'm now waiting for Jodrell Bank to come up for offer on Freecycle!

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Excellent!

      I think I saw Arecibo on there once but I had to pass since there was no pick up option.

  2. OzBob

    If they are looking for intelligent life,

    then it's interesting to note they are pointing the disk away from Hamil-tron.

    1. Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen
      Trollface

      Re: If they are looking for intelligent life,

      and away from Oz :-)

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: If they are looking for intelligent life,

        Maybe you guys can use it to beam a clue into our government?

    2. Deltics

      Re: If they are looking for intelligent life,

      And indeed away from New Zealand in general.

      Or Earth, for that matter.

      ;)

    3. LINCARD1000

      Hamiltron - Re: If they are looking for intelligent life,

      ...It's as if the voices of a million bogans cried out and were suddenly silenced...

      :-)

      Sorry to any SW fans in the audience.

  3. KrisMac

    So pleased to see this!

    I was lucky enough to get a tour of the Warkworth station as a teenager - it was still an (almost brand new!) operational earth station at the time and I remember the chills up my spine when one of the technicians flipped a switch and someone's phone conversation started coming through the control room loudspeaker... I thought at the time it was both spooky and kind of cool - half a lifetime and an Edward Snowden event later it would just be creepy..

    It is fantastic to see such an iconic piece of New Zealand's technological heritage being repurposed for worthwhile science - it would have been a true shame if the gas axes had come out for it...

    *Edit: Spelling

  4. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge
    Pint

    now THAT

    is useful recycling. Good job and beer all round.

  5. pixelgeek

    For those that remember...

    If you want to see more of this beauty in its younger days. Go find an early(ish) New Zealand film called The Quiet Earth (stars Bruno Lawrence). Has a bit of a tiki-tour of the North Island during the "Apocalypse" and some iffy 80's acting.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: For those that remember...

      The dish in "The Quiet Earth" is Warkworth 1 - that was dismantled in 2008.

      Picture at http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/warkworth-satellite-earth-station - 2 is on the left, 1 on the right. The base of 1 is 3 floors high.

  6. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Pity it's Warkworth 2

    The older dish (Warkworth 1) was more than twice the diameter.

    It was quite impressive to see it as you crested the hill coming up the driveway

    When you finally noticed the cars parked at the base and realised it was 3-4 times larger than it originally appeared, it was even more impressive

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