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Canberra DSN - DSS35, Antenna Construction Webcams
Astro0
post May 8 2013, 08:45 AM
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Construction of the Deep Space Network's newest antenna - Deep Space Station 35 - reaches an important milestone this week.

Three major parts are now ready to be joined together in a massive operation starting in the next few days. The base structure and azimuth drives are already in place on the base track, and next to that the 34-metre dish structure and quadlegs and subreflector have been constructed.

The plan is to use a massive 600 tonne crane to lift the 125 tonne dish as a single piece and place it delicately on the base structure. Basically flying the dish more than 20 metres in the air. All going well, the next day the quad and subreflector will also be hoisted into place and bolted into the heart of the dish.

Attached Image


A dish has never been moved as a single piece before, so it will an amazing operation to watch.

And you can watch through three webcams*:
http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/images/r...me/latestC1.jpg
http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/images/r...me/latestC2.jpg
http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/images/r...me/latestC4.jpg

The fun starts from 2100GMT Thursday 9th May, 2013
That's 0700 Friday 10th May in Canberra.

* webcams update every 30-60 seconds.
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Airbag
post May 8 2013, 09:15 PM
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Cool! I just came across this very atmospheric (hah!) early morning C2 image:

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stevesliva
post May 8 2013, 10:47 PM
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Are the low hills useful in blocking terrestrial radio sources?
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Astro0
post May 8 2013, 11:29 PM
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Yes. The wide valley that the tracking station is nested in is ideal for blocking/reducing line of sight terrestrial radio noise.
Roughly a 6-8 degree masking horizon. Still gives us plenty of cross-over time with Goldstone and Madrid.
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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 08:45 PM
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The lift has started:

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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:07 PM
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High up now:

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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:12 PM
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Translating sideways into position:

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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:15 PM
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In position:
Attached Image


Coming down:
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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:17 PM
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Down, just tweaking now:
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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:27 PM
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OK, so a big tweak (those bolts were in *inches*? wink.gif ):

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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:29 PM
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And the final images, down again (the webcam updates seem to have stopped):

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Airbag
post May 9 2013, 09:35 PM
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"First light"

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Astro0
post May 9 2013, 09:57 PM
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Nice Flicker animation here of the early stages of the lift.
http://t.co/HWIEcgIv0Z

EDIT: Lift has gone very smoothly. Considering moving the quadleg and subreflecftor structure today if possible.
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Astro0
post May 10 2013, 12:49 AM
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Crews are now in the process of checking the fit of the new dish to the base structure.
There will be a bit of shuffling no doubt as they align the dish to the beam waveguide tube.

Attached Image


Certainly an amazing job performed today. Temperature at the start of the lift was zero degrees Celcius (32 F). No wind.
Entire lift took about 40 minutes from ground hover to connection to base.

BTW - DSS45 in the background is tracking Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at the moment.
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Astro0
post May 10 2013, 02:01 AM
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Short timelapse video available of today's antenna lift.

http://youtu.be/nc4iCvL43aQ
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