infrastructure civil_work general_facilities

General facilities

View of the low voltage power generator

View of the low voltage power generator

Low voltage power generation

The Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre (OAJ) houses three genset capable of producing over 450Kva of mains power with load balancing and synchronism achieved by means of a custom designed transfer switch.

On the other hand, the OAJ has three separate electrical circuits. One of them is assigned to general use (eg. lights, all purpose equipment, etc). The other two are dedicated to powering critical equipment (the telescopes and their instruments). This particular arrangement isolates the cameras and telescopes from unwanted electrical noise. To further increase the quality of the electrical signal, all these critical systems are fed via a UPS.

Water-glycol cooling system

Photograph of the water-glycol cooling system

Water-glycol cooling system

The Observatory's primary cooling circuit consists of a network of pipes through which a glycol based water solution is circulated. Its main purpose is to dissipate the heat generated by telescope electronics and by the cameras' warm stages.

Compressed Air System

A source of quality compressed air is required within any astronomical observatory in order to keep clean and dry some delicate surfaces as well as for some other maintenance tasks.

To this end, the OAJ provides a circuit of stainless-steel and plastic pipes though which compressed air is circulated, filtered and de-humidified before being injected into the cameras.

The compressed air conditioning subsystem has two main components:

  • An active carbon twin microfilter dryer which eliminates all particulate impurities over 1 μm and ensures an oil mist concentration below 0.003 mg/m³.
  • A de-humidifier which delivers air with a low dew point of -40ºC. This last component is required in order to avoid condensation within the piping of the Observatory where minimum temperatures can reach -20ºC.

Voice and data network

Schema of the network topology

Schema of the network topology

The Observatory's voice and data network uses a double star network topology. Not only does this arrangement link the different buildings in an efficient fashion, but it also prevents bottlenecks during critical data transfers.

All key components in the network are connected via a rack-to-rack fiber optic backbone capable of delivering an aggregate bandwidth of 20 Gb/s (upgradeable via the channel bonding of additional links).

The overall network operates at Layer 3 and is further sub-divided into a number of isolated VLANs. A firewall protects the network from un-authorized access and prevents inefficient use of the radiolink. All network equipment is physically contained within a primary rack and four auxiliary racks distributed over the site.

Climate control system

The OAJ's climate control system is based on the use of geothermal heat sinks. There are two main subsystems: the first one is an air treatment plant which aims to equalize the air temperature inside the telescope's domes with the outside air and so prevent the emergence of air turbulence; the second one is an underfloor heating system that keeps the ambient temperatures of the habitat and working areas within reasonable levels of comfort.

Penetration and access control system

Access to the Observatory's facilities is restricted to the autorized personnel only. To that end the OAJ implements any number of security meassures, including penetration and access control systems which can be operated remotely from CEFCA's headquarters.