A 600 tonne capacity Terex CC 2800-1 installs a communication antenna at Canberra station

A 600 tonne capacity Terex CC 2800-1 installs a communication antenna at Canberra station

Australian heavy lift and transport company Universal Cranes used a 600 tonne capacity Terex CC 2800-1 lattice boom crawler crane to install a communications antenna at Canberra station, a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) facility in Tidbinbilla.

The antenna is one of three to be installed for Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC). It is part of the Deep Space Station 35 (DSS35), a AU$ 50 million (US$ 48 million) 34 metre diameter beam wave guide (BWG) antenna.

To lift the 114 tonne satellite dish, the CC 2800-1 was configured with a 36 m boom and a 36 m luffing jib. Including a 160 tonne capacity hook and 5 tonnes of slings and shackles, the lift was recorded at 126.5 tonnes.

The dish was lifted at a radius of 26 m and slewed 300 degrees before being installed on top of a pedestal structure. Following this, the crawler lifted the upper quadripod antenna structure, which was placed at the centre of the dish.

Nick Morris, Universal Cranes heavy lift engineer, said, “Because of the compact site and the fact that the construction on the antenna was already underway, we had to develop our lift programme to suit. This crane specification was chosen because it allowed the antenna to be erected in a single piece.”

The project will be fully operational late 2014. The dish will be used to track the US NASA New Horizons mission before the spacecraft reaches Pluto, a company spokesperson added.

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