Work on telemetry antenna continues
By Ricardo Garcia , Space Lift Range System Contract advanced integration director
/ Published May 20, 2010
Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. -- Members of the Air Force Space Command's Launch and Range Systems Wing team, headquartered at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, participated in a ground breaking construction effort which kicked off a project to install a new 44 foot telemetry antenna at the Vandenberg's Oak Mountain site April 28, 2009.
Over the past year the LRSW and the Spacelift Range Systems Contract Team and A.J. Diani construction contractors have been making "Dirt Fly" at Vandenberg's Oak Mountain site.
This is the second 44foot telemetry antenna that LRSW is developing at Oak Mountain for the 30th Space Wing. This team's effort will provide additional telemetry capabilities and much needed updates to the infrastructure for the U.S. Air Force's Western Launch and Test Range key telemetry site.
From the beginning, the project adopted a design and built on the concept for the construction of the antenna and riser. Great coordination between all stakeholders was essential to proceed with the construction of the antenna riser. The SLRSC team pursued an aggressive tailored approach to every aspect of the project by early procurement of materials and the development of project documentation.
Located at 2,000 feet above sea level, site conditions at Oak Mountain have proven to be challenging. Weather conditions including high winds, fog and cold are common. Safety is of prime importance and additional precautions were needed to limit site access to allow for construction vehicles passage on the single lane road leading to Oak Mountain. On days where concrete was delivered, a maximum of 18 cement trucks traveled up the hill in a single day for a total of 145 trucks during the entire operation. In all, the team poured 4,693,950 pounds of concrete and used 417,240 pounds of rebar in the entire process. All personnel are required to have appropriate personal protective equipment to access the construction site and wear safety harnesses while working on the antenna riser. Despite being hampered by the unique challenges, the construction crews have managed to make significant progress. Lying on a sloping hill surrounded by deep valleys, the placement of the Oak Mountain B telemetry antenna will sit on a 60 foot riser and will be encapsulated within a 53foot weather proof dome. The final height of the completed structure will be 122 feet. SLRSC has worked closely with the 30th SW site personnel and range scheduling to ensure project schedule while not impacting range operations.
Additionally, while exterior construction activities continue on the antenna riser, electrical elements are currently underway on the site power plant. The actual 44 foot antenna installation is expected to begin once beneficial occupancy has been received for the antenna riser in June of 2010. The radome will be installed after the successful completion of Level 1 testing of the antenna. Control console installation in the sites operations building will be completed by mid summer 2010.
The Oak Mountain B telemetry site provides increased operational capability for the 30th SW modernizing an aging system on the Vandenberg Tracking and Receiving Site.
"This is an outstanding team process, between the LRSW team, the 30th SW and their Oak Mountain contractor," said Col. Tom Junyszek, the AFSPC Spacelift Range Group commander. "Truly a one team - one mission effort that when completed will provide increased capabilities and reliability for our nation's launch range."