Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank, Part 1.

Lovell radio telescope

Despite the difficulties of my N-1 models, I consider the most challenging mesh I ever built in terms of level of detail to be the model of the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank.

One major advantage compared to most of my projects is that I was able to visit the real thing, and get a large number of reference photos. Plus I had some useful help from the staff, who were kind enough to provide accurate overall dimensions of the major elements.

faceonmIt’s a wonderful place to visit, and since I was there, they have done major work on the visitor centre. Just be aware that it’s a LONG walk from the nearest train station at Goostry if you are getting there using public transport!

Their web site is here:

The Lovell Telescope

They have a proud history of scientific discovery, particularly for the early days of the space age, when the big telescope would regularly be the first in the western world to pick up signals from the Soviet space program.

There’s a lot more detail on the Wikipedia page:

And even today, highly valuable scientific research is carried out as it remains one of the largest fully steerable radio dishes in the world.

If there is a problem with photographs,  it’s that you are quite close in the main viewing area, so a wide angle lens is important to fit it all in the field of view unless you have a very wide angle lens. My solution was to use panorama stitching software, PT Gui. When tracking the telescope moves slowly enough that aligning images fir the stitching is not an issue, if you are reasonably quick.

lovell-3-4-frontal-panoramaAnd of course I was using a decent telephoto to get some good views of the details for the model.

I think in the end the only parts I did NOT get good shots of were the bits under the “crossbar” that runs along just above the ground.

This might give you an iddea of the complexity…

complexHere are a few of the best photos from my 2010 visit, in a gallery of images.

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