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NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years 28

evanak writes TIROS was NASA's Television Infrared Observation Satellite. It launched in April 1960. One of the ground tracking stations was located at the U.S. Army's secret "Camps Evans" Signals Corps electronics R&D laboratory. That laboratory (originally a Marconi wireless telegraph lab) became the InfoAge Science Center in the 2000s. [Monday], after many years of restoration, InfoAge volunteers (led by Princeton U. professor Dan Marlowe) successfully received data from space. The dish is now operating for the first time in 40 years! The received data are in very raw form, but there is a clear peak riding on top of the noise background at 0.4 MHz (actually 1420.4 MHz), which is the well-known 21 cm radiation from the Milky Way. The dish was pointing south at an elevation of 45 degrees above the horizon.
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NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years

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  • by mrthoughtful ( 466814 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @09:52AM (#48855851) Journal

    Although I personally find the idea of resurrecting an old dish rather 'non-news', Tiros was pretty cool series of satellites. Here is the the first (composite) photo of global weather taken using the infrared cameras on an early Tiros: https://history.nasa.gov/SP-16... [nasa.gov]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Trying to read the article (which link is is anyway?) some of these links are not loading.

    Anyway, how much fuel does this thing have left?

  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @10:24AM (#48856011)

    So, they have shown that they can mount a receiver on an existing radio telescope, and receive radio waves.

    That's cool and all, but not exactly newsworthy.

    • Well, I dunno... the dish has mechanical parts that are 40 years old. What condition were they in? Did they need to replace any motors or bearings or control electricals or build new interfaces to old obsolete ones? Did they have to do anti-corrosion measures, maybe even paint the thing? It may have been quite a project. I'm not clicking no links that people have deemed to be a "hack attack" so am not about to read the original article.

      • Well, I dunno... the dish has mechanical parts that are 40 years old. What condition were they in? Did they need to replace any motors or bearings or control electricals or build new interfaces to old obsolete ones? Did they have to do anti-corrosion measures, maybe even paint the thing? It may have been quite a project.

        Yes, parts had to be replaced and rebuilt. The drives were replaced, the elevation assembly was re-manufactured, feeds were fabricated (one is recycled from another project), and, yes, it was painted.

        Let's not ignore the highly effective job the Army did in de-militarizing the TLM-18. They removed or rendered inoperable the drive controls, pinned the antenna to prevent motion (required a cutting torch to free the mechanism) removed the control console, and striped off the feeds and feed lines. Thi

  • I remember seeing that dish when I worked at Concurrent Computer in nearby Oceanport. I also volunteered at Ft. Monmouth during the 1st Gulf war operating their Army MARS [army.mil] station AAR2USI [k2usa.org] providing comms between deployed soldiers and their families stateside.

    • I also volunteered at Ft. Monmouth during the 1st Gulf war operating their Army MARS [army.mil] station AAR2USI [k2usa.org] providing comms between deployed soldiers and their families stateside.

      When Fort Monmouth shut down, the MARS station moved to Camp Evans. It's currently located in Building 9116, adjacent to the TLM-18

  • by Peter Simpson ( 112887 ) on Tuesday January 20, 2015 @12:45PM (#48857523)
    Occasioned by a weekend trip to the (bitingly frigid cold) Sunday River ski area this past weekend, I learned that TELSTAR 1 is still happily orbiting the earth. The US ground terminal was in Andover, Maine, not too far from Sunday River. It's now just a few equipment shelters and some dishes, but back in the day, there was a huge horn antenna inside a radome. The regional high school is named Telstar. I wonder if the students (or the administration, for that matter) realize the history behind the name...

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