JLG boom provides link to space station


A boom lift provided by JLG Industries has helped a group of Brisbane school children reach 350km into the skies for an encounter they are unlikely to forget.

The JLG 600AJ articulating boom played a key role as children from St. Thomas Catholic Primary School in the inner Brisbane suburb of Camp Hill took part in an amateur radio link up with an astronaut on the International Space Station (ISS).

The boom’s usual 18.3m reach was dramatically extended by the amateur radio aerial mounted on its platform, which enabled the students to make contact with the ISS during the NASA sponsored space adventure.

School principal David Cashman received confirmation from NASA’s education division over a year ago that the small school had been selected to take part in a live link with the ISS, which is orbiting 350km above earth.

The program has been running since 1996, but less than 20 schools in Australia have had the opportunity to take part.

The erection of temporary scaffolding was ruled unsuitable, so JLG’s Brisbane branch came to the rescue with offer of the 600AJ articulating boom.

JLG’s 600 Series articulating booms feature the industry’s best work envelope — 8.1m up and over height and up to 12.12 m horizontal outreach.

Positioning the antenna high enough to ensure a clear line to the ISS throughout the link-up with the students was essential for the long distance question and answer session to be successful.

The ground level controls of the 600AJ enabled the amateur radio team to fine tune the antenna’s position to assist with the tracking.

The children were then able to communicate with the international space station and conduct a question and answer session with astronaut Mike Fincke.

JLG Industries
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