The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute has been actively engaged in scientific research and education concerning the nature and distribution of life in the universe. Most SETI projects to date have had to rely on existing radio telescopes used by many different parties, which has meant very limited research time for SETI. As a result, SETI constructed a new Allen Telescope Array (ATA) at the Hat Creek Observatory in northern California. The ATA currently comprises 30 six-meter-diameter radio telescope antennas, and will eventually consist of 350 antennas.
Due to the precise nature of the ATA measurements, the prescribed performance criteria for the antenna foundations were extremely stringent – an allowable foundation rotation of only 1/250th of a degree with a wind speed of 15 mph. SAGE decided on an integrated ground-anchor/ grade beam design in a tripod configuration for the PTA, in order to minimize construction costs while offering flexibility of anchor placement in some challenging subgrade conditions.
SAGE developed engineering drawings and installation specifications for the construction of the PTA foundation, and oversaw the installation of each structure.
To date, SAGE has provided consultation, engineering design, and construction observation services for 39 ATA radio telescope antennas at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory.