Open House at The Algonquin Radio Observatory
On July 19, 2008, we attended an open house at the Algonquin Radio Observatory (ARO) at Lake Travers (Lake Traverse) in Algonquin Park. The highlight was a tour of the 46 metre (150 foot) radio telescope. Some photographs of the Algonquin Radio Telescope and associated residence are presented here.
2008 July 19
About 25 years ago we went to an open house at the Algonquin Radio Telescope, but had not seen the main site since. (The gates on the access road are normally locked.) In late June of this year, we learned that there would be an open house on July 19. We were curious about the changes that had taken place since our last visit, and decided to take the opportunity for a return visit. It was a beautiful warm sunny day, and we enjoyed the drive to Lake Travers, arriving mid-morning. After a look around the Observatory House residence, we were taken on a tour of the 46 metre radio telescope. The tour lasted about an hour, after which we returned to the Observatory House for lunch and some exploration of the grounds and lake shore.
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Observatory and were impressed by the hard work and effort that is currently underway to restore this site to once again be a world class facility. We hope that it will enjoy another 40 years of useful service.
We were fortunate to arrive at the telescope at the quietest time of the Open House. Consequently the time was available to provide us with a very thorough and technical tour of the telescope. In fact, some of it was a little too technical and detailed for us to be confident in accurately recalling all of those details here. Rather than risk getting it wrong we have excluded most of the technical explanations from the above description. However, the links below can fill in much of that detail.
A video about the site can be seen on the Discovery Channel.
For more historical and technical background see:
- Algonquin Radio Observatory - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
- Canadian Spatial Reference System - Algonquin Radio Observatory
- Algonquin Radio Observatory - From Canada under the stars
- Algonquin Radio Observatory - From IEEE Canada
Some of the equipment and buildings have been removed from the site. The solar interferometer array and the University of Toronto's 18 metre antenna are now at Area 31 near Shelburne, Ontario. (This link worked in 2008 July but is now giving a 403 (Forbidden) error.)
The following are International VLBI Service Annual Reports of activities at the ARO for the years 1999 to 2006. Aside from technical information, they also include some interesting photographs.
- IVS ARO report for 1999
- IVS ARO report for 2000
- IVS ARO report for 2001
- IVS ARO report for 2002
- IVS ARO report for 2003
- IVS ARO report for 2004
- IVS ARO report for 2005
- IVS ARO report for 2006
See also last page of the IVS Newsletter for December 2006. This IVS newsletter documents the 2006 shutdown of the 46 metre antenna.
Some photos of the site in 1982 can be seen here.