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GGAO Site News

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 through the dome slit into place 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).

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) 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

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.

Progress on the shelter and arrival of the dome parts
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 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 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.

Watch the SGSLR dome in action below.

© Baader Planetarium, Munich, Germany


The shelter for the new SGSLR at GGAO 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 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 concrete pad for the shelter for the new SGSLR system 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