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  ID'ing JPL microwave assembly from blueprint

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Author Topic:   ID'ing JPL microwave assembly from blueprint
Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-18-2012 03:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Last week I bought this off eBay because it just looks cool. I am 99% sure it is the original and it came with what I think is the part sheet. The only thing I know is that it came from an estate sale of a NASA engineer.

I will upload scans of those if needed and if more photos are needed I will upload those as well. I Googled it but I have found nothing. Any ideas?

It is dated May of '66 so I think I could have to deal with Apollo.

I can include a link to the album which has more photos if needed.

Fezman92
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From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-25-2012 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I sent a FOIA request to JPL and they suggested I contact JPL Public Affairs Office and the NASA Headquarters Public Inquiries Office. I did and will post what I find out when they get back to me.

David Carey
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posted 04-25-2012 04:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the limited amount I can see/read, it would appear to be part of a radio transceiver. The 'Diplexer' mentioned usually corresponds to frequency-selective splitting, either for Transmit/Receive (Tx/Rx) separation within a band, or for multiplexing individual bands/channels (Tx/Rx or Rx-only) into a common signal.

Radio Frequencies (RF) in the microwave regimes of X-band, C-band, L-band, S-band etc. are implied by the SMA/coax assemblies shown. There also seem to be flanges for mounting of rigid waveguide tubes, the latter suggesting - to me - ground-based RF equipment.

Waveguides are high-power / low-loss, but also high-weight RF signal carriers. Looking at Scott Schneeweiss's website (spaceaholic.com) I don't see any radio hardware for Saturn, CM, or LM that utilize hollow, rigid RF waveguides (all connectors seem to be coax cable only) but he can best address the nature of all radio "plumbing" used in Apollo.

Additionally, JPL's involvement with Apollo was mostly around development of Ranger and Explorer robotic probes to my knowledge.

The above has a good chance of being wrong in whole or in part but shoot me the full album link and I'll give it a look.

SpaceAholic
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Posts: 3174
From: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 04-25-2012 07:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SpaceAholic   Click Here to Email SpaceAholic     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Without specifically addressing the blueprint, correct - relatively low frequencies and short transmission distance obviated requirement for rigid wave-guide on M/G/A. However JPL has deployed X/KA band on robotic missions that do incorporate waveguides. JPL also designs a lot of microwave systems never intended for flight application.

Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-25-2012 07:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can send you the link if you want.

David Carey
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posted 04-25-2012 11:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for David Carey   Click Here to Email David Carey     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Your drawing number (10064020) is closest to the X-Band and S-Band TWTA Sub-assemblies ('21 and '22) listed in the JPL doc provided to you.

TWTA stands for Traveling Wave Tube Amplifier, and perhaps yours was a different band (Ka?), thus the slightly different drawing number. The rigid waveguide flanges would be consistent as a TWTA is a high-power RF amplifier device that would generally interface by just such a means.

This link might be helpful: Traveling-wave-tube amplifier

Beyond that, I really couldn't say what the bigger-picture system was doing with certainty (and I'm not even 100% on the TWTA guess) but maybe a satellite transponder?

Joel Katzowitz
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Posts: 389
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 04-26-2012 06:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Be aware that what you have is a blueline print. The original drawing was probably done on a vellum material. It was then fed through a machine in direct contact with a photo sensitive paper. A bright light exposed the paper and then it was "developed" with an ammonia based chemical. There is no telling how many other prints were made from the original drawing.

It's still a very cool artifact.

Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-26-2012 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Joel Katzowitz:
Be aware that what you have is a blueline print.
Does that leave a smell or does the smell due to the age of it? Either way it is very cool.

Joel Katzowitz
Member

Posts: 389
From: Marietta GA USA
Registered: Dec 1999

posted 04-26-2012 07:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Joel Katzowitz   Click Here to Email Joel Katzowitz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
When they come of the blueline machine they wreak of ammonia, but I guess after all this time the smell must be "old age". The paper used for making these prints was not high quality so you should take the usual precautions against UV light, heat, and humidity.

Fezman92
Member

Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 04-26-2012 07:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What kind of protection for something this big can I use?

Fezman92
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Posts: 1030
From: New Jersey, USA
Registered: Mar 2010

posted 05-04-2012 05:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Fezman92   Click Here to Email Fezman92     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
So I got a reply back from the JPL NASA archives and it was used in the Voyager probe. They said to find out more with the blueprints I will need to file another FOIA request which I may do.

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