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LRSW team breaks ground for telemetry antenna

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  Members of the Launch Range Systems Wing Team prepare to break ground for a new telemetry antenna for the Western Range here. Once complete, the antenna will sit atop a rigid 60-foot riser and reach 113 feet in the air. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the Launch Range Systems Wing Team prepare to break ground for a new telemetry antenna for the Western Range here. Once complete, the antenna will sit atop a rigid 60-foot riser and reach 113 feet in the air. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --  Members of the Launch Range Systems Wing team participated in a ground breaking ceremony April 28 for a new telemetry antenna for the Western Range. The Oak Mountain A T1 site, pictured here, sits approximately 100 yards from the new Oak Mountain B telemetry antenna. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the Launch Range Systems Wing team participated in a ground breaking ceremony April 28 for a new telemetry antenna for the Western Range. The Oak Mountain A T1 site, pictured here, sits approximately 100 yards from the new Oak Mountain B telemetry antenna. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Members of the Launch Range Systems Wing team participated in a ground breaking ceremony April 28 for a new telemetry antenna for the Western Range.

This is the second new antenna for the 30th Space Wing Oak Mountain site, complementing the LRSW team's work to finish a new telemetry system for the 30th SW at Pillar Point Air Force Station.

"In January of 2009, the 30th Space Wing identified their critical need to replace an aging set of antenna's and other ground equipment," said Lt. Col. Tim Parker, the LRSW's Launch and Range Group program manager for the SLRS contract. "The 30th Space Wing challenged us to get this Oak Mountain B telemetry project going as soon as possible. Through the exceptional efforts of the team, SLRSC and Diani Building Corp (the site construction contractor), we completed all the necessary engineering, site surveys, range safety equipment, and coordination to allow us all to do just that today."

Once complete, this antenna will sit atop a rigid 60-foot riser and reach 113 feet in the air. Enclosed in a weather proof fiberglass radome, the 44-foot antenna will provide critical tracking capability for U.S. launch vehicles such as the Delta II/IV, Atlas V, Pegasus and Minuteman, as well as testing support for the Air Force's premier F-22 fighter aircraft out of Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

"The value of teaming efforts on the Western Range ... cannot be overstated and provides an excellent example of how space professionals can produce rapid results when working together," said Col. Tom Junyszek, commander of the LRSW's Launch and Range Group.

This new telemetry system will replace aging systems built in the 1960s. It will have common hardware and software, which will improve reliability, maintainability and reduce maintenance costs. These new systems are scheduled for completion in the fall of 2010.