Wallops Island Antenna Overhaul Trip Part I, May 2018

By: ksterne  on: Mon., July 02, 2018 02:56 PM EDT  (439 Reads)
After a trip in March 2018, the next steps in making repairs to the antenna array would be the removal of the old reflector wires as well as the upper and lower horizontal guy wires. A trip was made to the site in mid-May as the availability of personnel and a lift from Wallops Island’s facilities coincided at this time. Thanks needs to be given to Philip Smith with NASA/Wallops Island for coordinating a lift for us. A majority of materials ordered following the March 2018 trip would also be on hand by this time which would facilitate the initial steps needed for the repairs.

Blackstone Antenna Repair Trip, May 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., June 29, 2018 02:44 PM EDT  (417 Reads)
Following the April 2018 overnight trip to Blackstone when many of the transmitters were repaired, a trip was needed to make some repairs to the antenna array. On leaving the radar during the April trip, there were more transmitters in working condition that there were antennas. A trip was organized in order to make repairs to the antenna array including antenna feeder cables, antenna wires, baluns, resistor boxes, and reflector wires. Dr. Mike Ruohoniemi, Paul Kennedy, and Kevin Sterne made 2-day trip to the site in order to make these repairs and investigate any other issues along the antenna arrays.

Blackstone Transmitter Repair Trip, April 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Apr. 27, 2018 02:39 PM EDT  (1185 Reads)
Following the March 2018 day trip to Blackstone, it was noticed that about 5 to 6 transmitters were not on or running for various reasons. As time did not allow of any kind of electronics checks during the previous trip, this trip was made by Kevin Sterne and Dr. Mike Ruohoniemi to review and make repairs on the electronics inside of the building. It was hoped that any outdoor work on the antennas could be performed during this trip, but logistics did not allow for making it worth renting a high-lift. In addition, the newly installed wireless hop system would be re-checked to see about improving the connection as it was still experiencing some minor problems despite staying up for the majority of the time.

Blackstone Wireless Hop Upgrade Trip, March 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Mar. 16, 2018 01:56 PM EDT  (748 Reads)
Following an extended period of problems with the network connection to the site, a trip was planned after some new equipment was purchased to replace the aging wireless bridge system. The network connection has been a problem since the site was constructed, and in particular since the installation of new radios in 2011. However, through late 2017 and early 2018, the network connection was mostly down leading to long backlogs of data. To resolve this problem, new antennas, mounting hardware, and Ethernet cable were taken out to the site along with replacement radios that were in the lab. This trip was made while Mike and Kevin were coming back from Wallops Island in the two days prior. Of course, upon arriving to the site, the network connection was working.

Wallops Island Antenna Assessment Trip, March 2018

By: ksterne  on: Fri., Mar. 16, 2018 01:07 PM EDT  (572 Reads)
After examining the condition of many of the radars, it was determined that a major effort should be put into repairing the antenna array at Wallops Island. This effort also follows work done by Mike and Ethan along with Rob Pfaff to get the grounds around the antenna arrays cleared out and maintained in late 2016 and 2017. During this trip, Mike and Kevin took stock of what exactly needed to be repaired on the antenna arrays and get some order sheets going. With additional time, the RF performance of the transmitters and antennas would be measured to quantify the amount of repairs needed. Dr. Ethan Miller and Dr. Patrick Dandenault from APL joined us for a day to review the antenna array repair project.

Fort Hays Reflector Rebuild Trip Part 2, Aug. 2017

By: ksterne  on: Wed., Oct. 04, 2017 11:16 AM EDT  (1501 Reads)
Following the May 2017 trip, the west main reflector array still needed to be rebuilt with a little over half of the wires still needing to be strung up. This trip would also serve as the last tune up of the radar prior to the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017.
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