In April 2013, the assembling of first new NOEMA antenna has started in the large assembly and maintenance hall on the Plateau de Bure.
The picture shows the antenna in its status mid of August, with the pedestal, the fork, and the supporting frame of the receiver cabin, already assembled.
The design of the new 15-m antenna closely follows that of the currently operated 6 dishes. However numerous specific subsystems have been improved and modernized. The manufacturing of the mechanical parts has been sub-contracted to various European companies and IRAM signs responsible for their integration.
During the construction of this and future antennas the PdB interferometer will stay fully operational. The construction effort represents thus a major challenge for the IRAM staff. The antenna will be equipped with a new generation receiver (providing 16 GHz bandwidth per polarization) and should be delivered in Spring 2014. The construction of the 8th antenna will start immediately after.
In parallel to the assembly of this new antenna, an important construction activity is going on to build the new cable-car that connects the Plateau de Bure with the village of Devoluy. Altogether, the summer 2013 will remain as the one of the busiest period at Bure ever !