The SST site is approximately 80 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico at an elevation of 7,900 feet. M3’s scope of work includes all site utilities, a support building attached to a high bay receiving area, fixed enclosure and rotating dome. The rotating enclosure is octagonal with bi-parting shutter doors and ventilation openings.
One of the challenges of this high altitude project was to design and construct a facility that met all US Federal government standards, Department of Defense (DOD) and Air Force Command requirements within a tight budget. The enclosure and support building is designed to very stringent security requirements as mandated by the DOD.
The unique aspect of this project is the dome’s high rate of acceleration and rotational speed. The mission of the project is to track low orbiting satellites and the facility design requirement placed a high priority on this design feature and its reliability to maintain the high level of performance at any given time. In order to assure the bogies and drives functioned at the required speeds, M3 provided an azimuth bogie and drive design with a higher safety factor and specified materials capable of handling the added localized stress on the vertical and lateral restraint rollers.
The key was to design a facility that is simple and built with standard off-the-shelf equipment and components that have proven reliability.