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RF Shorts for April 14, 2014

Arecibo Back On-Line After Earthquake Repairs

The Arecibo radio observatory in Puerto sustained some damage in the wake of an earthquake there on Jan. 13. However, operations are now starting to return to normal.

Alessondra Springmann, in a posting on, writes, "Arecibo Observatory, the world’s largest single-dish radio telescope at 305 meters across (1,000 feet), is situated in the hilly terrain in the central portion of the island. The day following the earthquake one of the 18 main suspension cables--supporting the 900-ton telescope platform hanging 150 meters (500 feet) above the aluminum dish--was found to be damaged. These support cables are hundreds of meters long and larger around than my arm. Three towers surround the 18-acre telescope dish and the telescope platform hangs at the center, suspended on these cables between the towers."

A large clamp was installed to prevent further unraveling of the damaged cable. The repairs concluded on March 11. After being down since the damage from the earthquake was discovered, it isn't surprising the planetary radar system needed some debugging. After two days and nights of radar system troubleshooting, the system was used to observe 2000 RS11, a potentially hazardous asteroid. Springmann's posting includes delay-Doppler radar images from 2000 RS11.

See the posting, Arecibo Observatory operational after repairs to fix earthquake damage, for more photos, a description of the difficult repair work, and an update on the future of the Arecibo Observatory.

2014 NAB Attendance on the Rise

I've attended the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show every year for more than 35 years, with the booths this year seeming less crowded--you could actually get inside popular booths on Monday.

Others at the event also noted that their seemed to be fewer attendees, but numbers released by the NAB indicate that the number of attendees actually increased compared to the last few years, but remained well below the 2007 headcount of 111,028. However, NAB attendance has been improving since a falloff after that record year.

In 2012, the final attendance number was 91,565, and in 2013 it increased to 93,850. This year’s final attendance figure has not yet been released, but the NAB said there were 98,015 registered attendees. (In recent years, final attendance stats are usually close to, or slightly less than, the number registered for the conference.

For more on the preliminary attendance numbers, see the NAB Release NAB Show Attendance Surpasses 98,000.

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Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.