The LSST Vertical Platform Lift Completes Load Testing on the Summit

When it comes to moving enormous pieces of LSST equipment between floors of the summit facility building, an ordinary cargo elevator just won't do. Instead, a heavy-duty, vertical platform lift will carry the assembled mirror and camera subsystems 78-feet (23.8 meters) between the telescope and maintenance floors of the LSST observatory. The heaviest load to raise and lower will be the combined weight of the Primary Tertiary Mirror (M1M3), mirror cell, transport cart—close to 80 tons (72.5 metric tons)! The final test campaign for the lift, which was designed and fabricated by PFlow industries, was completed in April 2019. For this series of tests, the lift was loaded with seven barrels containing approximately 18,500 gallons (70,000 liters) of water. With this ballast, the weight of the tanks themselves and the detachable lift-up roof, the lift successfully raised about 94 tons (85.5 metric tons) of weight. This simulates the maximum payload of the M1M3 mirror and cell on the transport cart and factors in the weight of the roof section (which isn’t technically part of the payload). The lift, custom-made for LSST, allows the carriage to travel all the way up to the eighth level of the building: the telescope floor. The lift-up roof weighs about 15 tons (13.5 metric tons), and rises 25 feet (7.6 meters) higher than the top of the shaft. In its highest position the lift carriage would obstruct the rotation of the telescope dome, which is why the roof wasn't installed permanently at this height—when the lift carriage is lowered, the roof section also lowers and securely locks in place clear of the rotating dome. Read more:


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Release date:June 3, 2019
Duration:45 s
Frame rate:29.97

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