The antenna mechanics take care of the surface and structural aspects of the antennas. They play a major role in azimuth bearing changes, build prototypes for new equipment, assist with transporter moves of the antennas and anything else that involves any of the physical apsects of the antennas.

Changing an azimuth bearing requires separating the dish from the lower portion of the antenna and lifting the azimuth bearing out of the interior. Here Ramon and Steve are discussing the condition of the pinion gear after the dish has been removed.
Adrian, Mel and Kelly are using the metal shear to cut a piece of aluminum sheeting that will be used in building part of the structure of the prototype vertex room for the EVLA antennas.
Antenna mechanics spend a lot of their time up in the antennas. Jimmy and Jay are headed up to work on the focus rotation mount at the very top of the quadrupod. Jay is carrying his harness, required safety equipment for every technician who goes above the surface of the dish.
Frank is inside the pedestal room working on the azimuth motor so the antenna will turn smoothly. He comes up through a hatch in the floor and does not have a lot of room to maneuver. Antenna mechanics must not only be skilled in troubleshooting and fixing antennas, they must be physically strong and agile as well.
Antenna mechanics are also in charge of the paint shop. They have a self-contained building with an exhaust system for safety. At right, John points out what he will paint later in the day, as Phillip, in the lower photo, mixes the primer.
Modified on Friday, 26-Sep-2008 12:09:36 MDT