October 26, 2015 sacadmin

Tasso’s Lady

Tasso Karantonis received training in the US on the electronics of SAC’s 10 m LSX8 antenna, which was installed and commissioned in 1988. After an illustrious 20-year career, the LSX, fondly dubbed Tasso’s Lady, finally started showing signs of fatigue.

A lightning strike in 2007 put the antenna out of action for several months. When all revival attempts failed, Tasso – who had retired in 1994 – was called in to rescue the Lady.

By March 2008, the antenna was back in action but in 2010 an electrical storm permanently crippled the control unit. As the SAC era came to an end, so it seemed, did two decades of service from Tasso’s Lady.

In July 2011, a local company designed and installed a new control unit in the antenna, restoring it to full functionality. Once again, Tasso’s Lady could look towards the stars and listen for the sound of satellites.

“The task to get her going again in 2007 was daunting. I had to repair the new control unit along with the S- and X-band feeds and auto-track systems. When it seemed that she had taken her final bow in 2010, it was a sad day for all who had known and worked with her. I am just happy to see her working again now.” 

– Tasso Karantonis