September 20 - A 600-tonne capacity Terex CC 2800-1 crawler crane, owned by Universal Cranes, has installed a 34 m diameter antenna, one of three communication antennae, as part of the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex (CDSCC).

The total load to be lifted weighed in at 126.5 tonnes, which included the 114-tonne satellite dish and associated equipment.

Universal Cranes mobilised its crawler crane for the lift, rigged with a 36 m main boom and a 36 m luffing jib, in order to erect the satellite dish as a single unit.

The Terex crane picked up the dish at a radius of 26 m and crawled under full load for a short distance before slewing 300 degrees and placing the dish on top of a pedestal structure.

It then carried out a second lift to place the upper quadripod antenna structure at the centre of the dish. The total height of the antenna when in its stow position was 35 m.

One of the most challenging aspects of the lift was that the clearance between the crane's main boom and the dish was very tight, but with careful planning the operation was successful.

The Deep Space Station 35 (DSS35), which is a beam wave guide antenna, will be fully operational in 2014 in time to track NASA's New Horizons mission before the spacecraft reaches Pluto.