2014-15 Photos - VIPER demo

MAPO in January 2008
A "before demo" aerial photo clip of MAPO, with the empty VIPER ground shield in the foreground (GG).

The VIPER telescope was originally installed in 1997-98, and operated through the end of the 2005 winter. Since then, it sat unused and collected drifting snow...a hindrance to the eventual moving/raising of MAPO.

The above photo from 30 January 2008 clearly shows that the VIPER ground shield was empty, although I never noticed or knew that while I was there for the 2008 winter. The VIPER instrument had been removed in 2006-07 and stored at Port Hueneme for several years before it was reinstalled at Siena College in New York State (Siena College news article).

Interestingly, notice that that in the above photo that BOTH of the instrument ground shields connected to MAPO are snow-filled and obviously dormant...the DASI mount at the far end, which now houses the Keck Array telescope monitored most winters by inveterate Polie friend Robert Schwarz, was not operated during my 2008 winter...although while poking around inside the instrument to investigate the HVAC systems, we discovered a bunch of Robert's stored boxes.

More comments on the above photo...the connecting link you see between the control room and MAPO was originally an open walkway...it was enclosed and heated (with electric heat) in the 2002-03 summer. Needless to say, it required lots of electric heat...it was later sealed off at least during the winter, and the enclosure was removed a few years after VIPER was decommissioned. Also...the small structure on the roof of the control room was not part of the original construction, so you won't see it in older photos. It was added later to house cryogen storage--liquid helium and liquid nitrogen dewars.

On to the January 2015 activities:

inside the VIPER ground shield
6 January...preparing the ground shield for removal (JC).
removing the ground shield
Later that day, it was lifted out (JC).
removing the ground shield support structure
Three days later, sections of the ground shield support structure were being picked out and set in front of MAPO for further disassembly (JC).
disassembly of the support structure
Like so (JC).
disassembling the ground shield support structure
Cutting things apart (JC)...
disassembly of the support structure
...in front of the still-to-be-dug-out control room (JC).
removing the ground shield support structure
More of the telescope support structure being removed (JC).
digging out the lower structure
Next, more excavation. This photo was taken from the MAPO roof...the dark blue panel is where the doorway to the walkway to MAPO used to be. The yellow trackhoe at right is where the telescope support structure used to be (PS).
getting ready to remove the control room
A view of the control room from the north side, looking across where the telescope used to be (PS).
picking out the control room
Removing the control room. The plan was to demo it, but the crane operator determined it could be lifted out in one piece, as seen here (PS).
picking up the VIPER module

Another view of the pick...this photo is from said crane operator(!) (JdH).
towing the control room away
Here it is being towed off to its new home presumably on the building berm where it probably is today (JdH).
plaque left by the VIPER construction folks

As the structure was being taken down, this plaque from the builders was discovered (SS).
plaque left by the VIPER construction folks

Another larger photo of the plaque, featuring a couple of the carps involved with the demo--Benjamin (Benzo) Harris (left) and Todd Ellerbe (TE).

Of interest..."two alarm Todd" named on the plaque happens to be Todd Cardiff, who was working as an ironworker when the VIPER structure was constructed in 1996-97. I was in touch with him back then, although his blog (well, family emails and photos) disappeared...all except for this one which I grabbed. Todd went on to law school, here's his present presence.

the former site of the VIPER telescope
Back to VIPER, or rather where it used to be. Everything
was removed (PS).

Credits...GG is Glenn Grant...JC is Joe Crane...PS is Paul Sullivan...SS is Sheryl Seagraves...TE is Todd Ellerbe...and JdH is J. D. Harmon. Thanks!

But there's more...the new shredder among other things.

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