Thursday 20 March 2014

Storm damage to the EISCAT Heating Facility

The storm that caused the KAIRA damage recently, probably also caused damage at the EISCAT site at Ramfjordmoen. This Heating antenna mast (which is also four coaxial feed lines) to tilt as one of the antenna-fixing wires broke.

The antenna was sound electrically on 23 February but was found faulty on 11 March, and a ski tour of inspection on sunny Sunday 16th March found this.

We suspect that the holding cable was also weak due to faulty construction about 30 years ago based on a similar failure once before in 1995, and that the extra forces from the wind finally broke the connection.

The second photo shows the broken insulating cable hanging from the wooden support mast. It will take some time to rebuild this. It means that two out of twelve Heating transmitters cannot be used on this low frequency (4-5.5 MHz) array until the summer.

Text and photographs by Mike Rietveld

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