NASA-MCAT 1.3 Meter Telescope Installation Installation Location: Ascension Island
The remote location of Ascension Island required thorough, accurate preparations be made by the DFM technicians.
All telescopes manufactured by DFM Engineering are completely assembled, tested, dismantled and packed for shipping and reassembly before transport.
Mark Kelley, Ian Huss, and Richard Neel with DFM Engineering coordinated the logistics and performed the on-site reassembly of the telescope.
The new MCAT observatory building is exceptional. The attention to detail displayed by NASA's on-site lead Tom Glesne was greatly appreciated.
The MCAT project scientist, Dr. Susan Lederer, joined the DFM team for the final 4 weeks of the installation to acquire as much hands-on experience as possible with installing and tuning the optics and mount.
Following are select images of the NASA MCAT 1.3m telescope installation at Ascension Island.
Following are select images of the 1.3m telescope mirror cell and optics installation.
The large telescope components were lifted by crane and guided through the observatory slit and into position for assembly.
The slit in the dome allowed for generous clearance yet still required careful maneuvering.
The 1.3m mirror cell had been carefully transported into the base of the observatory then lifted up through the hatch in the observatory floor.
Once inside the dome, the center section was placed on the primary mirror cell handling hydraulic lift table.
The center section, with the primary mirror cell was then lifted into position for attachment to the declination axles.
Then the motorized counterweights were installed along with the trusses, truss ring and mirror doors.