John Kenneth Ayre
Marconi Lead Project Engineer (1965)
||Ken Ayre worked for Marconi Radar in the UK
for 37 years. One of his first projects was as a team member of the
Algonquin Radio Observatory project. When the project lead was head
hunted to construct the Parkes Observatory in Australia, Ken was
promoted to lead the Algonquin project for Marconi and was sent to
Canada in 1965 for eight months to lead the implementation of the
electronics in processing the radio signals.
The Algonquin Radio Observatory project was the
most enjoyable point of Ken's career at Marconi Radar, and left him
with a deep affection for Canada and the Canadian people for the rest of
|Throughout his life, Ken's study walls were
framed with some breathtaking pictures of the Observatory from his time
there, including a family favourite which shows Ken in the control room
at twilight with the observatory in the background (below).
Ken died on the 9th June 2008 aged 72. His
family is pleased to contribute to the ARO archive copies of technical
notes, schematics and photos that Ken gathered during his time at the
telescope. These include his log book entry (below), where he documents
the first successful observations with the 46 m antenna May 19th, 1966.
For Ken, the Observatory was a family affair. His son was one of the
first babies ever to visit the site. Further images take by Ken during
the construction of the telescope are available here.
Marconi's fully automated control desk is child's play
Ken Ayre operates the Algonquin Radio Antenna at Twilight,
A telescope is born! - From the
logbook of Ken Ayre, 1966.