Blog from June, 2017

The Pawsey centre has finished commissioning a new Lustre file system connected to the Galaxy supercomputer. 1 PB of space on this new system has been allocated to the real-time ingest of data from ASKAP, using a dedicated metadata server that should avoid load issues due to multi-user access patterns that may have impacted the performance of the real-time system in the past. For now, the intermediate products of the science data pipeline will still be written to the older /scratch2 filesystem, but we are negotiating how to best proceed when /scratch2 is decommissioned later in the year.

The seized azimuth gearbox on ak01 was recently swapped for a working unit from one of the other antennas that does not currently have a PAF installed. This process provided an opportunity for the MRO site mechanical engineering staff to gain direct experience with the gearbox mechanisms, a first since they were installed by the manufacturer several years ago. The failed unit will be sent for inspection and rework while CASS is in the process of sourcing spare parts for the future. In response to the need for more regular monitoring of drive train health, we have developed a standardised torque test program that drives all operational antennas through a predetermined sequence. Subsequent analysis of the electrical current required to drive each of the motors during this test can provide early warning of excessive binding in the drive train. As a result of these tests, some adjustments on the meshing of other gearboxes has been performed, but overall the remaining antennas seem to be in a good state.

During the last week, work progressed on the installation of the 1.6MW Solar photo-voltaic array that will expand the existing MRO power station's clean energy capabilities. It was a big week for the power station with the arrival of the containerised electrical systems, including the RFI-shielded battery containers. In addition, a high voltage cable was run between the Solar array and the Horizon Power station. During the mains outage, electrical work was carried out on antennas AK24 and AK27, progressing a gradual upgrade of all antenna switchboards to enable better remote power monitoring and circuit breaker control. The power outage also allowed work on several of the high voltage transformers located at each antenna pedestal and replacement of two high voltage RFI filters that allow the mains power to cross between the interior and exterior of the central control building without providing a path for RFI.