- Single Dish Summer School 202220 Dec, 2021
- F Region Electric Field Effects on the Intermediate Layer Dynamics During the Evening Prereversal Enhancement at Equatorial Region Over Brazil16 Dec, 2021
- Announcing a Change in Leadership of the Florida Space Institute16 Dec, 2021
- AO Scientist studies Near-Sun Asteroid 2005 UD polarimetric comparison with asteroids and meteorites15 Dec, 2021
- Near-Earth Asteroid 1999 KW4 Moshup: Planetary Defense Characterization Exercise15 Dec, 2021
- AO Scientist Contribute to European Pulsar Timing Array: Gravitational Wave Background Study15 Dec, 2021
- The Arecibo Observatory’s Big Data Program: Award Winning Preservation of AO’s Historic Dataset15 Dec, 2021
- Topical Symposium: Science and Discoveries at Arecibo Observatory 15 Dec, 2021
- Arecibo Observatory Restarts Radio Astronomy Observations15 Dec, 2021
- Beating the Noise: Arecibo and Green Bank Telescopes Detect Faint Signals from Cold Clouds in our Galaxy15 Dec, 2021
- Abrupt Change in one of the Most Precisely-Time Pulsars14 Dec, 2021
- Air Pollution Concentration Study14 Dec, 2021
- Arecibo Scientists investigate variability of Blazar J1415+132014 Dec, 2021
- Arecibo Observatory at the 239th AAS Meeting14 Dec, 2021
- Detection of the YORP Effect on the contact-binary (68346) 2001 KZ66 from combined radar and optical observations14 Dec, 2021
- AO Radar Data Used to Study NASA Mission Target Asteroid (16) Psyche14 Dec, 2021
Byadmin16 November 2020 Management
Photo taken via drone of the Arecibo Observatory after a main cable broke on Nov. 6.
The University of Central Florida today delivered engineering options to address the Arecibo Observatory to the National Science Foundation.
UCF manages the facility under a cooperative agreement with Universidad Ana G. Méndez and Yang Enterprises Inc. for NSF.
A main cable failed at AO about 7:30 pm on Nov. 6. Safety remains the team’s primary concern, so a safety zone has been set up around the reflector dish and only personnel needed to respond to the incident are allowed onsite. The AO management team began immediately working to assess the new break with the three engineering firms–Thornton Tomasetti, WSP, and WJE (Wiss, Janney, and Elstner Associates)–that were hired in connection with an auxiliary cable break that occurred Aug 10.
The goal was to determine the cause of the second break and how to stabilize the structure while minimizing risk to personnel, including those who would be making any repairs. NSF, the owner of the facility, was also notified and has been frequently briefed as assessments continued all week.
The firms have been working around the clock since Nov. 6. A monitoring team has been closely watching all the cables and platform. Drones and remote cameras are being used to minimize risk.
Preliminary analysis indicates the main cable, which failed on Nov. 6, should have easily handled the extra load based on design capacity. Engineers suspect it is likely that the second cable failed because it has degraded over time and has been carrying extra load since August. A final determination could not be made without retrieving and analyzing the second cable.
The engineering firms cannot verify the integrity of the other cables at this time supporting the 900-ton platform. Each of the structure’s remaining cables is now supporting more weight than before, increasing the likelihood of another cable failure, which would likely result in the collapse of the entire structure.
Other wire breaks on two of the remaining main cables have also been observed. The situation is dynamic and poses a serious safety risk to employees and contractors. As a result, project leaders are not only working vigorously to understand why this industrial failure occurred, but also to share these findings in a timely and transparent manner with the NSF and all interested parties.
Keywords: arecibo, observatory, management, update, repairs, cable, replacement