Principal: General Dynamics SATCOM
Project: NASA JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) Antenna DSS35
Scope: Provision of 600t Crawler Crane for installation of Deep Space Station #35 Antenna at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC) at Tidbinbilla, 35kms southwest of Canberra, ACT.


Universal Cranes mobilized a Demag CC2800-1 600t Crawler Crane to site to complete erection works on the antenna under construction.

Using a 600t Crawler, rigged in Luffing Fly configuration, Universal Cranes were able to offer a project solution that enabled the reflector dish to be erected in a single piece with all structure installed.  This ensured both cost and programme efficiencies to the principal contractor, General Dynamics SATCOM.

The antenna, known as DSS35 will be a Beam Wave Guide (BWG) design meaning that the antenna has its transmission and receiving equipment located in an underground structure that forms the base pedestal on top of which the main antenna structure and dish are supported.

Universal Cranes completed extensive review in design of the lift including review of ground support.  This involved completion of a test lift designed to exert increased crawler track point loads and engaged an independent review on the process.

The pedestal design, which required the antenna to be placed atop, is already used in one of the current 34-metre antennas currently located at CDSCC (DSS34) allows for easier and safer access to the antennas electronic systems which would otherwise be inside the antenna structure.

DSS35 will expand the capabilities of CDSCC providing an additional antenna aperture to support these missions, plus the planned and expected growth in deep space missions being launched over the next decade. CDSCC already supports over three dozen individual robotic spacecraft.

DSS35 Quick Statistics:

Name: Deep Space Station 35 (DSS35)
Type: 34-metre Beam Wave Guide
Size: 34-metre diameter 'dish'
35-metres height (from ground level to top of antenna in upright 'stow' position
10-metres underground base pedestal structure
Transmit: Capabilities across S- to Ka-bands between 20-80 kilowatts
Receive: Receive signals from spacecraft that are equivalent to 1/20 billionth of a watt

Project Gallery:

Time Lapse Video: