Go to top of page

Next Generation Deployment News

This page contains the Next Generation Deployment news from several sites around the network. The specific site to which a news item pertains is shown in the news item title.

Ny-Ålesund SGSLR dome passes Factory Acceptance Testing
July 2, 2020

SGSLR's third dome, built for Ny-Ålesund, Norway, successfully passed the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) at Baader Planetarium in Mammendorf Germany on 2 July 2020. Jan McGarry (NASA) and KBR team members, including Scott Wetzel and Howard Donovan, attended the FAT virtually. KBR approved the FAT and accepted the dome. Installation of the dome at Ny-Ålesund is expected to occur in September 2020.

The shelter is ready to accept the dome in January 2020

The Ny-Ålesund SGSLR dome on the Baader factory floor as seen by NASA and KBR personnel during the virtual Factory Acceptance Test.

MGO SGSLR shelter is built and ready to accept the dome
November 26, 2019

The MGO SGSLR shelter is built and getting ready to accept the dome. This picture shows the temporary roof covering the dome ring wall and protecting that part of the roof where the hole for the gimbal is located. Dome installation is expected at the end of January 2020.

The shelter is ready to accept the dome in January 2020

The shelter is ready to accept the dome in January 2020

MGO SGSLR shelter goes up
October 15, 2019

The MGO SGSLR shelter walls were installed on the SGSLR pad on October 15th. This picture shows the first wall panel going into place.

The first wall panel going into place

The first wall panel going into place

The dome ring wall was added after the building walls and roof were in place.

The shelter after the dome ring wall was added

The shelter after the dome ring wall was added

Work continues on the framing, electrical, ducting and other parts of the interior.

Framing and electrical work inside the shleter

Framing and electrical work inside the shleter

Gimbal and Mass Simulator installed at GGAO
September 19, 2019

Gimbal #1 and mass simulator (GMS) were crated and shipped from Cobham in Lansdale PA and delivered to GGAO early in the week of September 16th. The riser, which is needed to mate the pier with the gimbal, was also delivered to GGAO early that week.

The riser was lifted by crane into place through the dome slit in the SGSLR shelter early in the morning of the 19th and bolted to the pier.

The riser bolted to the pier

The riser bolted to the pier

Later that morning, once the riser installation was complete, the GMS was lifted by crane through the dome slit into place in the SGSLR dome area and attached to the top of the riser.

The GMS being lifted by crane

The GMS being lifted by crane

Power and servo controller cables were connected to the GMS. Later that same day, Cobham employees were able to move the mount under computer control through the servo controller. This was followed by NASA/KBR connecting their computer and moving the mount.

Installed GMS

Installed GMS

The final levelling of the mount still needs to be done, and offsets for the encoders must be determined before star calibrations can be attempted. The mass simulator has a tertiary mirror (no primary or secondary mirrors) but we expect to be able to see enough stars to do a rough initial star calibration.

This installation will allow NASA/KBR to test the performance of the gimbal and also checkout the GTA test software. Meanwhile in Lansdale, Cobham is working to complete gimbal #2 and test it. Once the first telescope is ready, gimbal #1 will be shipped back to Lansdale and mated with the telescope in preparation for the first Gimbal and Telescope Factory Acceptance Test (FAT).

MGO Dome Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) at Baader successfully completed
September 19, 2019

The MGO dome successfully passed the Factory Acceptance Test (FAT) at Baader Planetarium in Mammendorf Germany on September 19, 2019. Scott Wetzel (KBR) and Julie Horvath (KBR) were in attendance. They approved the FAT and accepted the dome. Installation of the dome at MGO is expected to occur in January 2020.

The MGO dome

The MGO dome

SGP officially takes ownership of the GGAO SGSLR shelter
August 08, 2019

The GGAO SGSLR shelter official inspection took place the morning of Tuesday July 30th. The official punch list for the inside was generated. Participating in this walk through were the Goddard Project Manager for the construction, Quality Assurance, Safety, the Construction team and SGP personnel (Long, McGarry, Donovan and Nelson). After the inspection, SGP officially took ownership of the shelter which is now Goddard building 228. The exterior walk through will occur after the outside stairs are complete.

the shelter from the front on the day before the inspection.

The shelter from the front on the day before the inspection.

the shelter before the dome was installed.

The pier inside the laser room

the shelter before the dome was installed.

MOBLAS-7 as seen from its new neighbor


Dome Site Acceptance Test (SAT) at GGAO Successful
May 06, 2019

The dome Site Acceptance Test (SAT) was performed Friday morning May 3rd and it was successful. Here is a team picture of the Baader and SGSLR teams in the dome after the successful SAT.

team picture of the Baader and SGSLR teams in the dome after the successful Site Acceptance Test

Mebers of the team site inside the dome after the successful test

Dome for the SGSLR shelter at GGAO installed
May 02, 2019

The dome for the new SGSLR shelter building at GGAO was assembled by the Baader Planetarium team in the GGAO parking lot. Once the dome was built, on May 1st a crane arrived to perform the lifting. The dome ring, followed by the dome itself, were lifted and installed on the roof.

the shelter before the dome was installed.

The shelter before the dome was installed

the shelter after the dome was installed

The shelter after the dome was installed

Progress on the shelter and arrival of the dome parts at GGAO
April 22, 2019

The shelter continues to progress. The doors and windows are taking shape and the roof is being worked.

The shelter has been updated but is not yet completed.

The shelter underconstruction

The sea container with the dome parts arrived at the port of Baltimore from Germany on April 15th and was delivered to GGAO the morning of April 18th. There was a great deal of excitement at GGAO when it arrived and a lot of the site construction and SGSLR teams were there to greet it. A large forklift was required to remove it from the truck as it weighs over 5000 lbs. It is currently resting just North of NGSLR, waiting for the Baader team to arrive and assemble the parts and then install the dome on the shelter.

Freight container with dome parts

The freight container with the dome parts

The SGSLR dome for the new system at GGAO passes Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT)
March 6, 2019

The SGSLR dome passed Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) on March 5th at the Baader Planetarium factory outside of Munich Germany. The Baader development team and the three members of the SGSLR team who were at Baader’s facility for the FAT took time the following day for a group photo with the SGSLR dome. This is the dome that will be delivered to GGAO to sit on top of the shelter.

Members of the development team pose with the dome.

Standing on the dome flap are McGarry, Donovan and Wetzel. Just to the right of the dome is Thomas Baader.

Standing on the dome flap are McGarry, Donovan and Wetzel. Just to the right of the dome is Thomas Baader.

Watch the SGSLR dome in action below.

© Baader Planetarium, Munich, Germany


The GGAO shelter for the new SGSLR goes up in an all-day-long activity
March 5, 2019

The shelter goes up in an all-day-long activity. The sun is setting as the roof is finally lowered onto the building by crane. MOBLAS-7 can be seen in the left foreground of the picture.

Using a crane, the roof is being placed onto the building.

The roof is lowered onto the building

The SGSLR shelter after installation. The building is together but clearly needs a lot of finishing work including adding the door and windows and the interior build out.

shelter installed on the concrete pad

The SGSLR shelter after installation

New MGO VLBI Antenna Passes Site Acceptance Test
February 26, 2019

Intertronic Solutions Inc. completed the installation of the Space Geodesy Project’s new 12-meter VLBI antenna at the McDonald Observatory in Texas. An engineering room-temperature feed, developed and installed by MIT Haystack, was used to support the pointing tests. On February 15, 2019 several extragalactic sources were observed and the antenna successfully passed the Site Acceptance Test (SAT) on February 20, 2019. The MIT Haystack-developed cryogenic broadband signal chain will be installed in April after which the station will be ready to begin commissioning and participating in VGOS test sessions.

VLBI antenna at McDonald Observatory

VLBI antenna at McDonald Observatory

DORIS antenna in the foreground with VLBI antenna in the background

GNSS antenna in the foreground with VLBI antenna in the background

The rear side of the VLBI antenna on its mount with a few people standing around it.

The rear side of the VLBI antenna on its mount

The underside of the VLBI antenna with a person in a lift near the top.

The underside of the VLBI antenna

The concrete pad for the shelter for the new SGSLR system at GGAO has been poured
February, 2019

With the Government Shutdown now over, the pad has been poured. MOBLAS-7 is in the background with the telescope in the left most of the three trailers and the aircraft avoidance radar sits atop the center trailer.

Concrete pad for the new SGSLR statio has been poured

The concrete pad for the shelter for the new SGSLR system has been poured

SGSLR on Mt Fowlkes at MGO starts with pad and pier
January, 2019

The SGSLR pad and pier at MGO were completed in January 2019. The electrical panels were temporarily placed on one side of the pad until the shelter could be installed.

The completed SGSLR pad and pier

The SGSLR pad and pier