Sunday, April 21, 2013

The mystique of The Dish

The mystique of The Dish

October 13, 2031

Weekly Report Posted: December 24, 2012 09:30

The Dish is a radio telescope in the Stanford foothills. The 150-foot-diameter (46 m) dish was built in 1966 by the Stanford Research Institute. The cost to construct the telescope was $4.5 million, and was funded by the United States Air Force, with the original purpose of studying the chemical composition of the atmosphere.
Later on, the Dish was used to communicate with satellites and spacecraft. With its unique bistatic range radio communications, where the transmitter and receiver are separate units, the powerful radar antenna was well-suited for communicating with spacecraft in regions where conventional radio signals may be disrupted.
At one point, the Dish transmitted signals to each of the Voyager craft that NASA dispatched into the outer reaches of the solar system. It has also been used to remotely recalibrate ailing satellites orbiting the Earth.
A sign at the entrance to the Stanford Dish encourages recreational users to keep an eye out for mountain lions. The area is a known habitat for the large cats, though sightings are extremely rare.
Most recently, the university issued a warning in January 2011 after mountain lions tracks were spotted outside the entrance to the Dish at the intersection of Junipero Serra Boulevard and Campus Drive West. Fresh tracks were seen on dirt trails leading to Lake Lagunita, on the campus side of Junipero Serra. The following instructions were given to trail visitors:

If you are a recreational Dish user, you should know that if you see a mountain lion, you should not run or turn your back. Appear larger by waving your arms or a jacket or other objects above your head. Make loud sounds and yell. Grab a stick or rock. Keep young children close. Slowly move away while watching the animal. Attacks are very rare and most frequently the animal will go away. Most importantly, fight back!

Stanford requested that any mountain lions sightings on the Dish or surrounding area be immediately reported to the university police using the U.S. bound telephone number: (650) 329-2413.

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