Paddington and the Apollo ARIA network

Apollo 11 and The Role of the ARIA Aircraft.

At 182+ hours into the flight of Apollo 11, the capsule, for the first time, will reenter with lift vector “up”. It is normally down, but they want to extend the range 250 miles. This is a last minute change to correct for the slight error made by not being in the center of the reentry window and bad weather in the landing area if uncorrected. The capsule will sort of “skip” a bit off the atmosphere. In other words the Apollo capsules has some limited steer-ability in this vector. A bit like skimming a stone over water.

Above is the ARIA console at the OTC Paddington terminal in Sydney.

Apollo Range Instrumented Aircraft (ARIA)

As the capsule reenters the Earth’s atmosphere, the dishes that were used to communicate with Apollo 11 become useless. Because the capsule is so close to the earth, the dishes used to communicate when the capsule was in space cannot “see” the craft and it is thus a different method of communications that needs to be used. This was done through the ARIA aircraft.

The craft did much more than just provide communications with the spacecraft. They were equipped with Optical system that allowed the aircraft to film the capsule’s reentry

Since Australia was very close to the splashdown area, the Overseas Telecommunications Commission (OTC) provided control facilities for the aircraft.

Above is the ARIA console at the OTC Paddington terminal in Sydney.

Top: J.N. Hodgson, foreground: A.H. Griffiths, right: B.W. Collett.

Based on a story from an OTC publication.

The Aircraft:

aria-ec-135n_closeup_sm2

aria_diagram_sm

aria_sketch_sm

Above is the ARIA console at the OTC Paddington terminal in Sydney.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s