Arecibo Status

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Profile edjcoxProject Donor
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Message 1893120 - Posted: 4 Oct 2017, 3:50:05 UTC

The workers and families weathered the Hurricane in the structures at the array. The antenna was damaged with a boom falling from the supported antenna structure to the panels below mangling the boom and damaging several reflector panels. The Onion enclosure remains secure although it is feared that antennas within will need realignment as they did in previous high wind event hurricanes. The suspension rigging was not damaged and is being examined to insure site and worker safety.

Costs are not yet determined as damages still need assessment and replacement repair price breakouts calculated.

Arecibo remains difficult to access due to many downed trees, road washouts, and mudslides. Power is running on generators with conservation of diesel being exercised.

The above was gleaned from a news report and interview with the Director of the site.
Never engage stupid people at their level, they then have the home court advantage.....
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Message 1893652 - Posted: 6 Oct 2017, 17:21:13 UTC - in response to Message 1891632.  

I called the ARRL HQ in Newington, CT. They report that the staff has power and shelter. Their repeater which covered 90% of the Island was totally destroyed, however an Amateur Organization donated a brand new repeater to the effort and they hope it will be online soon. If I obtain additional news I'll post it here. I'm listening on 20 meters now but not too much news RE: PR coming through at the time.

Rich Vitello - W1RV
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Message 1894716 - Posted: 11 Oct 2017, 20:50:52 UTC
Last modified: 11 Oct 2017, 20:52:25 UTC

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Message 1894810 - Posted: 12 Oct 2017, 12:02:01 UTC

The NYTimes says that 84% of Puerto Rico is still powerless, but hospitals are working with Diesel generators as long as there is fuel.
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Message 1895257 - Posted: 14 Oct 2017, 8:38:12 UTC

Any latest news about Arecibo - or did I miss it?
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Message 1895258 - Posted: 14 Oct 2017, 8:39:40 UTC - in response to Message 1895257.  

Ah - yes. I was responding to the 21st September message which is still on my bulletin board.
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Message 1895262 - Posted: 14 Oct 2017, 9:37:57 UTC - in response to Message 1891254.  

Good to hear that ham radio can still be of use . I would have thought someone at SETI HQ
would have been equally proficient to get a message from / to Arecibo . Make me wonder how
proficient the organisation is regarding communication with distant contacts ?
De G0JLS
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Message 1895485 - Posted: 15 Oct 2017, 9:51:54 UTC

https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/maria/index.html#18/18.34455/-66.75296

hard to see difference between pre maria pict and 09/24 pict
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Message 1895511 - Posted: 15 Oct 2017, 15:55:56 UTC - in response to Message 1895485.  

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Message 1897216 - Posted: 24 Oct 2017, 1:57:53 UTC

Just ran across this generally positive article (except for the bit about the budget cuts) in the Miami Herald.

Good news, earthlings! Puerto Rico telescope still guarding the galaxy despite Maria
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Message 1897300 - Posted: 25 Oct 2017, 1:14:51 UTC - in response to Message 1897216.  

Just ran across this generally positive article (except for the bit about the budget cuts) in the Miami Herald.

Good news, earthlings! Puerto Rico telescope still guarding the galaxy despite Maria


I just want to point out that the Hollywood references are not completely accurate.

"Golden Eye" is accurate
"Contact" not quite. The Alien Transmission was picked up by The New Mexico Very Large Array.
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Message 1899939 - Posted: 9 Nov 2017, 0:04:15 UTC

Arecibo Observatory@NAICobservatory
After pointing tests & pulsar drift scans, Arecibo is “back on track” today w/ FRB121102, 1st scientific tracking since #Maria! #PRSeLevanta
8:27 AM - 7 Nov 2017


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Message 1899942 - Posted: 9 Nov 2017, 0:49:16 UTC - in response to Message 1899939.  
Last modified: 9 Nov 2017, 0:51:20 UTC

EXCELLENT! Fantastic work! And all good for good Science.

They survived a hurricane.

They have yet to survive the stupidity of ignorant politics...


Best wishes to all there in adversity,

Keep searchin'!
Martin
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Message 1899949 - Posted: 9 Nov 2017, 1:36:18 UTC - in response to Message 1899939.  

Good news! Thanks.
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Message 1899973 - Posted: 9 Nov 2017, 4:26:31 UTC - in response to Message 1895262.  

Looking at the sparse communications and totally outdated info on the message boards I get the impression that communication is a low priority even though the entire effort is wrapped up in trying to intercept and identify ET communication that may be out there.

I really ffel a restructure is in order that will put someone on the job of communicating with SETI home users and who will dump old posts into an archive away from the main boards

So there it is.
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Message 1900439 - Posted: 11 Nov 2017, 2:26:12 UTC

Good news for some signs of life from the dish, but how has the breakage of the antenna affected things, and are there any estimates of cost for repairing it?
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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Message 1900606 - Posted: 11 Nov 2017, 22:36:25 UTC - in response to Message 1900439.  

This not so new article paints a good picture of the situation at the present time. Only one of the antennas was severily damaged, and diesel availability is one of the limiting factors: "... a diesel and gas shortage on the island means the observatory isn’t running some of its high-frequency observations that consume lots of power. “We don’t want to use the diesel right now when there are needs at hospitals,” Cordova explains."

That Arecibo was raked by the eye of the storm but survived almost unscathed (...) and that the scientific complex survived the storm, and is using its resources to help in recovery efforts, is one of the few good news stories on an island in desperate need of them.

Good news, earthlings! Puerto Rico telescope still guarding the galaxy despite Maria

Good news for some signs of life from the dish, but how has the breakage of the antenna affected things, and are there any estimates of cost for repairing it?

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Message 1901019 - Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 7:36:35 UTC
Last modified: 14 Nov 2017, 7:47:32 UTC

Those of you interested can also visit the Observatory's Facebook page which has some interesting information on status. Also you can try a Skype call if you know anyone there.
https://www.facebook.com/Arecibo.Observatory/

Should allay your fears a bit


Excerpt from NAT GEO

Scientists and ham radio operators have confirmed that the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico—arguably the world’s most iconic radio telescope, which has a dish stretching a thousand feet across—has come through Hurricane Maria mostly intact, but with some significant damage.

More importantly, the observatory’s staff sheltering on-site are safe, and the facility is in good enough condition to potentially serve as a local center for the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, reports Arecibo deputy director Joan Schmelz.

Because of its deep water well and generator, the observatory has been a place for those in nearby towns to gather, shower, and cook after past hurricanes. It also has an on-site helicopter landing pad, so making sure the facility is safe in general is not just of scientific importance, but is also relevant for local relief efforts.


News about the facility has been primarily coming from Arecibo telescope operator Ángel Vazquez, who managed to get to the site and start communicating via short-wave radio in the early evening of September 21.

According to initial reports, the hurricane damaged a smaller, 12-meter dish and it caused substantial damage to the main dish, including about 20 surface tiles that were knocked loose. (Find out why this hurricane season has been so catastrophic.)


Also because of the storm, a 96-foot line feed antenna—which helps focus, receive, and transmit radio waves—broke in half and fell about 500 feet into the huge dish below, puncturing it in several places, says Pennsylvania State University’s Jim Breakall, who talked with Vazquez.

A fixture of the observatory since 1966, that line feed weighs about ten thousand pounds and is easily visible in images of the telescope as the pointy thing hanging off the platform. It was once used to detect mountains on the surface of Venus, and it is still crucial for studies of the part of Earth's atmosphere called the ionosphere, says former observatory director Frank Drake, who is also my dad.

“It allows the Arecibo telescope to achieve the most sensitivity of any radar telescope in the world,” Drake says, noting that it’s not clear how much time or money could be needed for repairs. “The end result is that the telescope will not be fully operative for some time at all wavelengths.”

RADIO QUIET
On September 20, Hurricane Maria came ashore as a Category 4 storm and traversed Puerto Rico, flooding towns, toppling bridges, demolishing buildings and blasting the island with winds exceeding 150 miles an hour.

Even now, nearly 48 hours after Maria went through, reports from many parts of the island are devastatingly sparse. Electricity is nonexistent, phone lines are mostly down, and roads are blocked, complicating both communications and rescue operations.

As it exited the island, Maria’s eye passed within miles of the seaside town of Arecibo—and the giant radio telescope, which is nestled in a sinkhole to the south, set among a bubbling landscape of forested mountains.

Arecibo’s staff had begun hurricane preparations at least a day before, but around 11 p.m. on September 19, power and on-site communications went out. A website keeping track of wind speeds went offline, and though staff promised to continue communicating over cell phones for as long as possible, by 8 a.m. the next day, power and phone lines had gone out, too.

Then, there was nothing but eerie silence for more than 24 hours.

Vazquez, who sheltered at home as the storm passed through, was at last able to make it to the observatory via one access road, check in with the staff there, and relay information to anxious colleagues on the mainland.

“Great news! [Princeton University professor] Joe Taylor talked to Angel Vazquez, who made contact with the observatory via ham radio. Everybody there is safe and sound,” Schmelz reported.

However, it’s not yet clear how staff who weathered the storm in town are doing, or what conditions are like for local communities. Reports suggest that the road up to the facility is covered in debris and is largely inaccessible.

Still, according to the National Science Foundation, which funds the majority of the telescope’s operations, the observatory is well stocked with food, well water, and fuel for generators. As of Thursday night, there are enough supplies for the staff hunkered down there to survive for at least a week, although Vazquez reports that it’s not clear how long the generators will be working.

“As soon as the roads are physically passable, a team will try to get up to the observatory,” the NSF statement says.

STELLAR SCIENCE
Built in 1963, the Arecibo Observatory has become a cultural icon, known both for its size and for its science. For most of its 54-year existence, Arecibo was the largest radio telescope in the world, but in 2016, a Chinese telescope called FAST—with a dish measuring 1,600 feet across—surpassed Arecibo in size, although it’s not yet fully operational.

The observatory was originally designed for national defense during the Cold War, when the U.S. wanted to see if it could detect Soviet satellites (and maybe missiles and bombs) based on how they alter the portion of Earth’s atmosphere called the ionosphere. Later, the telescope became instrumental in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) programs and in other aspects of radio astronomy.
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Message 1901024 - Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 8:18:22 UTC - in response to Message 1901019.  

On September 20, Hurricane Maria came ashore as a Category 4 storm and traversed Puerto Rico, flooding towns, toppling bridges, demolishing buildings and blasting the island with winds exceeding 150 miles an hour.

Even now, nearly 48 hours after Maria went through

That article is somewhat dated.
Grant
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Message 1901044 - Posted: 14 Nov 2017, 12:24:36 UTC - in response to Message 1901024.  

The National Geographic article (sept. 26) was written before the Miami Herald one (oct.23), but it was written by Frank Drake's daughter and science journalist Nadia Drake (on twitter), fer crissake ! =:)

Oh, and from the facebook page that was graciously posted here recently, I learned the Arecibo Observatory has changed its official url: areciboobservatory.org where we can hopefully expect future updates to appear (in addition to AO's twitter account).

On September 20, Hurricane Maria came ashore as Category 4 storm and traversed Puerto Rico, flooding towns, toppling bridges, demolishing buildings and blasting the island with winds exceeding 150 miles an hour.
Even now, nearly 48 hours after Maria went through

That article is somewhat dated.

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