Arecibo Status

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Eric KorpelaProject Donor
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Message 1891181 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 17:11:28 UTC

I've been asked by several people to post a status update on the situation at Arecibo following hurricane Maria's passage.

Unfortunately, at this point we haven't gotten any news. The last information we have is from a couple hours prior to when the eye passed Arecibo. That report said all the employees were accounted for and in sheltered buildings.

Since then we've had no news. That's understandable. With power out on the whole island, electronics communications aren't going to be possible for some time. Heavy rains are still expected today, so I'm sure that the primary concern is still keeping everyone safe. Assessment of any damage will take time.

Let's hope that everyone is safe, that their homes are intact, and that any damage can be repaired quickly.
@SETIEric

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Message 1891193 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 18:20:57 UTC - in response to Message 1891181.  

All i care about at this moment what Arecibo is concerned was in your last sentence.
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Message 1891251 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 1:54:52 UTC - in response to Message 1891181.  

Good to hear the news =)
Thank you Eric.
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Message 1891254 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 2:19:02 UTC - in response to Message 1891181.  

Hello Eric,

I just got this note relayed to me via a former co-worker who spent a great deal of time at Arecibo. The news is not good:

> ---- I just talked to Angel on Ham Radio (14.260 MHz) and have some
> more of the latest news.
> He was only on for a short time since his generator was acting up and
> he had to quit.
>
> The news is not good unfortunately.
>
> The 430 MHz 96 foot long line feed antenna broke off and landed into
> the dish and put in many holes in the dish as you can imagine. That
> is the antenna that was in the movie Golden Eye where there was
> fighting down the line feed. This was also the antenna that I was
> part of a team that used it for moonbounce a few years ago with the
> call KP4AO. It was a very important and historic antenna feed for the
> dish since the beginnings of the Observatory. It had a 2.5 million
> watt radar connected to it.
>
> This is clearly very devastating news to the Observatory.
>
> Also, the 12m dish was destroyed too. It is down.
>
> That is all we know up to now since Angel had to get off quickly and
> we could not get any further information.
>
> We were hoping to hear about the new HF Facility dipole antenna array
> too but he left before we could get any further info.
>
> That is all I have for now for the Observatory and it is very terrible news.
>
> The other bad news is that my contest station about 1 mile or so from
> the Observatory and on the highest hill in the area there was
> destroyed and the tower and antennas went down. That is very sad for
> me but it just means I will have to re-build it bigger and better.
>
> I will make sure to get any further news as it comes in.
>
> Thanks, Jim

If I get any additional information I'll relay it to you. I wish that I had better news to report... -Allen
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Message 1891263 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 3:05:32 UTC

No, not good news at all. What with the lack of funding for the facility, I have doubts whether Arecibo will ever be brought back online. We can only hope.
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Message 1891288 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 9:22:11 UTC

Thank you Eric and Allen for posting what news that we have.

Equipment can be replaced given time and money and the will to do so. Peoples lives cannot.

Yes it sounds bad, but we need the full picture before we can decide whether it is irredeemable and a write off.
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Message 1891293 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 10:37:47 UTC - in response to Message 1891181.  
Last modified: 22 Sep 2017, 10:39:13 UTC

Perhaps some of the staff should get amateur radio licenses. Its easy now a days...no code test. DE K7YVO
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Message 1891355 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 16:18:46 UTC - in response to Message 1891293.  

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Message 1891356 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 16:19:57 UTC - in response to Message 1891181.  

Thank you for the update! Much appreciated... I have an employee who'll be heading to PR next week to assist his family with clean up and to check on his property. I'll ask him about Arecibo as well and will update this thread if I don't see a more current status.

Keith
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Message 1891384 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 17:46:35 UTC

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Message 1891414 - Posted: 22 Sep 2017, 21:04:44 UTC

More sad news from the area: Guajataca Dam failing, northwestern municipalities of Isabela and Quebradillas, home to some 70,000 people,being evacuated.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/guajataca-dam-fails-puerto-rico-towns-evacuated-hurricane-maria/

Isabela and Quebradillas are close to the the municipality of Arecibo.
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Message 1891444 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 0:11:26 UTC

That is absolutely devastating news. I will do my best to push whatever funding I can scape together towards the project. Hold-fast ladies and gentlemen.
I've got to rewatch Contact to relive the dream!
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Message 1891480 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 3:24:45 UTC - in response to Message 1891181.  

Jim, WA3FET, advises he has been in contact with Angel, WP3R, who says that there is major damage to the primary reflector at Arecibo, caused by falling debris from the 430 MHz antenna structure, which appears to have been destroyed.

- Jay, W0AIR
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Message 1891499 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 7:10:38 UTC

Information published by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.


Staff at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico are safe, but the storm destroyed a key instrument, and conditions in surrounding towns are still unknown.
More info by following the link:-

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/09/arecibo-radio-telescope-damaged-puerto-rico-hurricane-maria-science/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20170922news-arecibodamage&utm_campaign=Content&sf116082652=1
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Message 1891517 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 11:36:25 UTC

Not good at all :-((

BBC

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Message 1891522 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 12:07:33 UTC

Puerto Rico has no electricity. Writer and mountain climber Mauro Corona, who survived the 1963 Vajont disaster in his mountain village of Erto, wrote a book "La fine del mondo storto" in which he describes what would happen to our civilization if we lost electricity. It is a grim book, but I am afraid Puerto Rico is going to suffer conditions close to his description if it is not helped from the outside world. Unfortunately it is an island, which makes matters worse.
Tullio
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Message 1891551 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 17:40:48 UTC

I tried to gather all information on my blog -in french- (you can just look at the picture, video and links at the end).

https://zazaa.blogspot.fr/2017/09/arecibo.html

I have few questions about the 430MHz line feed.
- According to F. Drake, the stability of Arecibo system has been tested in 1966 during the Inez Hurricane. Was the line feed already there?
- Where was located the transmitter of the famous message sent in 1974? Is it the same one as the 2.5 million watt you mentioned Allen ?
- If there was no other damage, how would the loss of this line feed impact every day (SETI) observation?

From France the administrative situation of Puerto Rico is hard to understand. How can American citizen live with no electricity during months? Could this happen to Florida too?

Have a nice week-end,
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Grant (SSSF)
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Message 1891581 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 21:21:42 UTC - in response to Message 1891551.  
Last modified: 23 Sep 2017, 21:22:18 UTC

From France the administrative situation of Puerto Rico is hard to understand. How can American citizen live with no electricity during months? Could this happen to Florida too?

It could happen anywhere if the conditions were right.

Puerto Rico's power generation and distribution system was already in crisis before the Hurricane hit. For several decades it has been collapsing in slow motion due to many of the major customers (many of them Government) not paying their bills, and many of it's smaller (domestic) customers unable to pay all of their bill. So the infrastructure has been seriously lacking in general maintenance, let alone improvement.

Given the nature of the Hurricane that went through there, even if everything in perfect before hand the damage appears such that it would still take weeks, months, even years to remove, replace, repair all that has been damaged. Being on an island, where the entire island has been damaged, only exacerbates the situation.

As it was, Florida got off very lightly- it could have been much, much, much worse than it was, and many areas there would have been without power or water for months also even with the advantage of road and rail links to the rest of the country.
Grant
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Message 1891628 - Posted: 24 Sep 2017, 10:55:46 UTC - in response to Message 1891254.  

Is that the frequency they are mostly using? And what mode are they transmitting. My CW is a bit shaky. I have had a few FT8 contacts out of Puerto RIco since then but not many. No voice on 40M haven't tried voice on 20M.
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Message 1891632 - Posted: 24 Sep 2017, 14:11:06 UTC - in response to Message 1891581.  

Thank you!
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Message boards : News : Arecibo Status


 
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