The EDS Satellite truck arrives at Key JASON

by gene carl feldman

Sunday April 7, 1996 5:35 PM

The day started out with an inspection of the communications tower. Along with Crissy Torruella, I climbed the as yet uncounted number of steps through the early morning Florida mist to the top of the tower. Once on top, Crissy was very happy with herself for making it to the top since the wind was blowing and the tower has a bit of a sway in the breeze.

Looking down I could see the RF technicians (Radio Frequency) uncoiling spools of cable that will be snaking their way up the side of the tower to be connected to the dozens of antennae that are sprouting like weeds all along the tower's sides.

First thing in the morning, the dive teams make their way to the Aquarius and the support barge in the two boats you can see in the center of this picture.

Behind the scenes of the JASON Project are the people who keep things running no matter how difficult the crisis or unusual the request. Crissy Torruella (left), the Director of Field Operations, Sandra Weber (middle) and Sieneke Kooistra (right), JASON's Administrative Assistants are sorting through all the materials that were shipped to Key JASON and will miraculously turn into the fully operational JASON Project office.

Any JASON Expedition site would not be complete without that big EDS satellite uplink/downlink truck. Late this afternoon, the big silver and black truck rolled into Key JASON and as a crowd of very interested observers watched, the truck, much like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, spread its wings and revealed its true beauty.

Crissy made sure that the truck managed to squeeze into the ever more crowded Key JASON site, but the way the EDS folks handled things, there was never any doubt that things would work out just fine.

and soon the smaller of the two antennae had emerged from its stowed position and pointed towards the sky with the JASON communications tower off in the distance.

In the crowd was a film crew from BBC television program Newsround who are here to film some of the JASON activities and their cameraman, Eddy Stephens, made sure that he got some very interesting camera angles. He said that he has already gone through one pair of shorts in the "line of duty".

Making sure that everything is aligned properly, Bill Buhro does some last minute adjustments on the controls before unfurling the big, 4.5 meter dish.

And finally, the satellite communication station for JASON VII is ready for business...all in less than one hour.

Here is a peek inside the truck showing only a few of the many control and communications panels that Mike Augustine, the EDS technician will be using during the broadcasts.

Best regards,

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Gene Carl Feldman (gene@seawifs.gsfc.nasa.gov) (301) 286-9428
Todd Carlo Viola, JASON Foundation for Education (todd@jason.org)
Revised: 6 April 1996