Painting the Antennas

Painting the antennas is important for several reasons. First, it works to control corrosion on the steel. Secondly, it aids in the ability to point the antenna accurately. When part of the antenna is in the sun and part is in shadow, it heats, and therefore expands, unevenly. The paint that is used contains a high concentration of titanium dioxide which equalizes the temperature over a large area. With less difference in temperature there is less difference in expansion and contraction.

Temporary paint crews are hired every summer. It takes nearly a month to clean an antenna, and another month to paint it, so only four or five antennas are painted each summer.

The steam cleaner

The antenna is blasted with highly pressurized, steaming water, nearly 5,000 gallons of it, to clean the dirt, grease, grime, and peeling paint from it. The sprayers must wear protective clothing, and in the desert in the summer it can get VERY warm!

Spraying the scaffold

Some parts of the antenna can be sprayed from the ground.
Spraying the bullgear

Others must be sprayed from above. In this photo the grease is being removed from the bullgear.

Modified on Friday, 26-Sep-2008 12:09:37 MDT