DFM Engineering, Inc.
1035 Delaware Ave. Unit D
Longmont, CO 80501
Phone: 303-678-8143
Fax: 303-772-9411

NOAA 85 ft. Antenna Control System Installation
Wallops, Virginia

DFM Engineering, Inc. was contracted to provide and install a new computer control system, servo motors, and additional gearing to drive the NOAA 26-M (85-ft.) diameter antenna at Wallops, Virginia as detailed in the NOAA article (dated 02/21/03).

The NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration-Department of Commerce) operates two 85-ft. diameter dish antennas along with other smaller antennas to communicate with their weather satellites. One of the sites is at Wallops, Virginia and the other is near Fairbanks, Alaska, theFairbanks NOAA Station now called FCDAS Fairbanks Command and Data Acquisition Station.

Virginian Installation

This work at the Wallops, Virginia site is built upon the expertise developed by DFM Engineering when they provided new controls and motors for two similar antennas at the PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute).

However, the NOAA control system additionally includes the capability to track fast moving low polar orbit artificial satellites.

The installation of the hardware proved to be a real test of the DFM Engineering personnel as the April weather was the wettest the locals could recall.

When it wasn't raining, the wind was blowing.

On the few clear days, very loud military jet aircraft were practicing touch and go landings on the runway a few hundred yards away.

The control system was successfully installed, tested, and the antenna is now resuming a new and useful life.

Related articles:

DFM's NOAA Original Project Description

DFM's NOAA Fairbanks, Alaska Project

DFM Control System Upgrade at PARI

Related products:

Telescope Control System (TCS-Sky)

Related Links:

PARI (Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute)

NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration)

Wallops NOAA Station

Fairbanks NOAA Station now FCDAS Fairbanks Command and Data Acquisition Station