Palomar Observatory just upgraded its data transfer rate from 45 megabits per second to 155Mbps! Data and commands shoot to and from Palomar Mountain via the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network (HPWREN) enabling new forms of astronomical research that were not possible before.
Studies at Palomar of gamma-ray bursts, near-Earth asteroids, supernovae, Kuiper Belt objects and more have been growing with the use of automated telescopes, armed with big cameras, that have put increased demands on the network. By collaborating with HPWREN and other partners the observatory now has in place what might be the fastest remote astronomical observing capabilities in the universe. Well, maybe just the known universe.
For the full scoop, check out this story from HPWREN news.
Shown above is the crew from HPWREN and Palomar Observatory installing the new microwave antenna outside the dome of the 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope.