Building the MWA – Day 8

With the hard work and long hours we’ve put in over the past seven days we began day eight 17 tiles from the finish line, with 10 already laid and in need of welding and 7 in need of both laying and welding. We quickly got down to business like the well-oiled machine we’ve become and by midday had completed the work. The image below shows the final weld being made on the final tile by Engineer Dave Emrich while being celebrated by myself and Engineer Dave Pallott in the background.

Welding the final tile – Tile #128.

In the last eight days we’ve worked hard, pulling together as a team to overcome obstacles and meet the task of building the foundations of a world class radio telescope head-on. Hopefully I’ll be back to lend a hand when we expand from 128 tiles to 256, or even 512… but until then it’s back to Perth and the job of promoting science and all things radio astronomy.

Before leaving the MRO for the last time on this trip I climbed to the top of the “break-away”, a raised rocky outcrop with a stunning view of the surrounding area.

The view from the top of the break-away with Australian SKA Pathfinder antennas in the background.

An MRO Lizard

Thanks for reading my blog. Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions at the bottom of the page and let me know of what you think I should be blogging about as part of my work with the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research. Next month we’re off to Carnarvon to join in with an event where Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin will officially open the new “Carnarvon Space & Technology Museum”.

Some useful links:

ICRAR’s Website:

ICRAR’s Facebook:

ICRAR’s Twitter:

MWA’s website

MWA’s Facebook

Goodbye to the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory… it’s been fun!


About Pete

I'm a professional science communicator working for the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in Perth, Western Australia. I love to travel, take pictures, experience new things and occasionally write about them.
This entry was posted in ASKAP, Astronomy, Australian SKA Pathfinder, ICRAR, Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory, Murchson Widefield Array, MWA, Radio Astronomy, Radio Telescopes, Square Kilometre Array and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Building the MWA – Day 8

  1. Roger Groom says:

    Thanks for posting the story over the last 8 days Pete – it’s been fun to follow and a great opportunity to get a sense of what it’s like out there at the location which is the centre of so much attention but so rarely seen. Look forward to reading about future trips.

    • petewheeler says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback Roger. I’m very happy with how the blog has gone and will endeavour to blog more from time to time as we have interesting things come up.

  2. Pete, I agree with Roger, it’s been great to keep up with progress through your updates. Thanks.

  3. petewheeler says:

    Thanks Dave, much appreciated.

  4. Lina says:

    Fantastic job – congratulations to the whole team. You are bringing world-class science to WA and creating more than just jobs, you are creating science history!

  5. Pratik says:

    Hats off to you people. Amazing work. Thanks for sharing your experience. Learned few things too while enjoying reading your blog. Hoping to read more.

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