Benmax achieve practical completion on Deep Space Antenna project


Congratulations to our team at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex in Tidbinbilla for completing work on our latest project at the site. Benmax were engaged by the CSIRO to undertake a cooling water upgrade on Deep Space Station Antenna 43 (DSS43) to accommodate a new larger transmitter and to cool the quantities of oil that are required to rotate and elevate the dish during operation.

The iconic DSS43 antenna stands 73 metres tall and 70 metres wide and weighs in at more than 3000 tonnes. Officially opened in 1973, it remains the largest steerable parabolic antenna in the Southern Hemisphere and has supported numerous international space missions throughout its lifetime. To accommodate the major upgrade project, the antenna was taken out of operation for much of 2020 while the complex and technical work was completed.

The project comprised of significant demolition works to remove redundant services including cooling water plant, as well as the decommissioning of equipment, ductwork and pipework in the heights of the dish module. Once complete, the team went about rebuilding the mechanical systems installing new adiabatic coolers, buffer tanks, cooling water pumps and piping to support transmitter and oil cooling. A new CHW AHU was fitted in the dish module to support critical cooling of NASA’s electrical components, with the team also required to install approximately 160 metres of stainless-steel transmitter cooling water pipe across the dish structure.

The team thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work on the unique and challenging project achieving practical completion in late September 2020.

Read more about the project here Deep Space Antenna 43 CDSCC.




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