Westchester Services LLC was asked to design a missile tracking ground station, to follow missile test flights and monitor other high speed aerial traffic, capable of operating a large rotating dish antenna, from horizon to horizon, in all weather conditions.
The client chose a site in the Great Plains of Wyoming, a land of vast things. Vast grasslands. A vast horizon. A vast array of animal and plant life. But above all that (literally) is one of the Plains’ biggest features and resources: a vast, uninterrupted sky across the Northern U.S.
While the site proved to be a great location for the tracking station, constructing the station presented its own unique challenges: a rural location on the front range of the Rocky Mountains, known to be the windiest spot in North America, with extreme weather conditions, including scorching summers and freezing winters, violent thunderstorms, tornadoes, and blizzards, all common in the region.
To withstand the extreme weather conditions, the dish antenna system was designed with a dynamic load on the foundation allowing it to rotate from horizon to horizon in all weather and wind conditions. The dish foundation had to be 20 foot square and 5 feet thick to counteract the uplift and rotational stresses imposed by the rotating dish antenna.
Power and fiber optic services had to be brought in from a distance to this site. Redundant utility services would have been ideal for the operation of this rural site. A generator provided backup power but only one fiber optic feed was available in the area – which proved to be reliable over time.
This site was commissioned and tested and is operating within design parameters.
Whether windy or calm, our civil / structural engineers and architectural team is licensed in all 50 states, ready to take on your challenge!