Very Large Array

raydio

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K4ECP
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Jan 6, 2005
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Rio Rancho, NM
As some of you know, I am a Field Service Engineer for a Medical Device Company and travel extensively in New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. And because I drive 99% of the time, at times I see some neat stuff. I was coming home from Mesa, AZ yesterday and got an emergency call from a customer in El Paso, TX. I was in a little mountain town of Heber, AZ when I was re-routed. So my route to the freeway was 4 hours of mountain highways across Arizona and New Mexico where I met up with I-25 in Socorro, NM which is home to the VLA.

I have lived in NM for almost 11 years and have never made the trek to visit the place. So as I'm approaching Socorro from the West I start seeing the dishes from probably 10 miles or so away. The array is about 50 miles West of the town itself and the picture certainly does not do the place justice -


IMG_1341.jpg
 
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cyberham

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 16, 2010
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Nova Scotia
Good video! Now you've done it. I just reserved 2001, 2010 and Contact DVDs at local library. I've seen all I think but not for a long time. I would like to tour the VLA if allowed. It would make a vacation destination.

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Cham

VE4GLS
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Dec 19, 2008
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Was there a few years ago. Very interesting place. Self guided tour takes you around the site. Was hoping to get a tour in the building where all the signal processing is done but no luck. Got a "T" shirt and VLA mouse-pad.
The opening shot from Space Odessy 2010 was filmed there too. :)
If the array is active, you can watch as the telescopes scan the object and shift as the earth rotates.
 

Gulcher

SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 1, 2012
63
32
central NM
I was living in Socorro for much of the time that they were building it, and have driven past it hundreds of times. Never stopped for a tour. Although once I got into FTA, I'll admit that every time I drove past, my thoughts drifted into wondering how to get one of those things in my pickup truck.
 

Bartles

Member
May 11, 2016
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stl
I've always wondered if you could take those small driect tv dishes replace the lnb's and create a small scale VLA to get C band. It wouldn't be practical, but it could be fun.
 

comfortably_numb

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Nov 30, 2011
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Missouri/Kansas
I've always wondered if you could take those small driect tv dishes replace the lnb's and create a small scale VLA to get C band. It wouldn't be practical, but it could be fun.
I'm not an engineer, but regardless of how sensitive the LNB is, I don't think you could overcome the loss of dish size.
 

waylew

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 23, 2010
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northern WEST new york
It would be easier,he said jokingly,to take a whole lot of little dishes and focus them on one cband feed.
Kinda like the mirror arrays in big telescopes.
 

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