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The Military Technology

How To Make 96,000lbs of WWII Machinery Into High-Tech Research Platform 150

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-old-is-new dept.
coondoggie writes "The US Naval Research Laboratory is taking a 96,000-pound piece of World War II-era machinery and turning it into a test-bed for leading edge communications and radar applications. The equipment was originally known as a three-axis tilting platform designed to simulate the movements of a large ship at sea. It was built by Westinghouse in 1943 as a gun platform requiring only primitive motion in roll, pitch and yaw, according to the Navy Lab. Specifically it was used as a mechanically operated deck with a heavy machine gun director and a machine gun mount installed. Gun crews and director operators could be trained on the platform under conditions that approximated the movements of a vessel at sea."
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How To Make 96,000lbs of WWII Machinery Into High-Tech Research Platform

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  • Jodrell Bank (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Molt (116343) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @06:58AM (#45974505)
    This type of reuse of ex-military kit quite often happens, although not normally so long after it was originally used. I'm not sure if it's still running on the same engines but I know that the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank (UK), at one time the largest movable dish telescope, originally had a lot of parts cannibalised from engines taken from two battleships. Lovell, the maker of the telescope, had also previously been using quite a lot of reclaimed military kit for his astronomical observations before the actual radio telescope was built.
  • Re:Jodrell Bank (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @07:53AM (#45974717)

    This type of reuse of ex-military kit quite often happens, although not normally so long after it was originally used. I'm not sure if it's still running on the same engines but I know that the Lovell Radio Telescope at Jodrell Bank (UK), at one time the largest movable dish telescope, originally had a lot of parts cannibalised from engines taken from two battleships. Lovell, the maker of the telescope, had also previously been using quite a lot of reclaimed military kit for his astronomical observations before the actual radio telescope was built.

    After WWII German Würzburg 'Riese' GCI radar antennas were repurposed for radio astronomy. Some of them remained in use at least into the 1980s. I wonder if any are still in use?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W [wikipedia.org]ürzburg_radar
    http://www.astron.nl/~leeuwen/video/dloo/JAHH9p3.pdf [astron.nl]

  • by onepoint (301486) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @10:36AM (#45975651) Homepage Journal

    While what your saying is correct, I think it's more for the ability to handle weight. ...
    while the platform is about 42MT ( 96,000 lbs in case someone needs that )
    the original machine gun turret has a low weight of about 80MT ( the Yamato's were in excess of 2200MT )

    so I'm thinking it's for that ability.

  • Re:I'll bet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by supercrisp (936036) on Thursday January 16, 2014 @11:14AM (#45976005)
    Clearly the parent hasn't read much history. Military over-expenditures and boondoggles go way, way back. Hell, I was just reading about similar problems in the 14th century.

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