X-Band Satellite Reception System
Installation, May 2005
Between May 10th and 20th we installed a
new satellite receiving system on Aubert Hall,
University of Maine. Two engineers from SeaSpace, the
company who sold us the system, arrived from California
on the first day of the installation and led us though
the entire process. Week one was dedicated to unpacking,
assembling and installing the satellite dish, while week
two involved fine tuning the hardware and software, as
well as some system training.
Prior to assembly of the satellite dish
some site preparation was required, one component of
which involved construction of a platform on top of
Aubert Hall. The platform served as an anchor onto which
the dish was eventually attached, and also raised the
level of the dish above obstacles on the roof that would
have impacted line-of-sight.
Our first task with the SeaSpace engineers was to
unpack the various components of the dish and its
protective radome. Assembly was done in a large barn to
protect the equipment from the elements.
We decided to assemble the radome on a flatbed
trailer from the get-go. This set-up allowed us to move
the dish around as necessary for various stages of the
assembly. It also served as a means to transport the
fully assembled radome to Aubert Hall.
The top hemisphere of the radome was the first major
construction task. The individual fiberglass segments
were aligned and bolted together in sequence.
The pedestal was lifted onto the base using a
front-end loader, after which it was bolted in place.
Placing the dish on the pedestal frame was slightly
tricky as the frame was now able to swing freely (its
shipping braces had been removed). The bottom hemisphere
of the radome was assembled in place on the base plate.
Lots of bolts were required to fasten the radome
After the two hemispheres of the radome were
assembled, it was time to attach the top half to the
bottom half. This procedure required moving the flatbed
trailer and dish outside to a loading ramp, and lifting
the top hemisphere into place with a front-end loader.
The driver was a pro, he was able to put Humpty
Dumpty back together again!
The fully assembled radome was driven back into the
barn and some final touches were added.
On the following day, we drove the assembled X-band
dish across campus to Aubert Hall and prepared for the
crane to lift it 4+ stories into place.
Lifting of the equipment into place was the smoothest
part of the whole installation!
Final placement of the dish onto the raised
Bolting the feet of the base plate onto the I-beams.
The sun came out just as we finished!
The fully installed X-Band receiving system! That
same day we received our first MODIS pass!