View From the Top

Keck Observatory uses a robust building-automation system to increase the reliability of advanced telescopes that astronomers use to hunt planets and dissect galaxies.

By Michelle Segrest,  Reporting for Maintenance Technology Magazine

When John Baldwin arrives at the W. M. Keck Observatory headquarters every day, it takes another two hours for him to drive to his office. The office sits 13,796 ft. above sea level on the summit of Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano on the island of Hawaii. As he drives up the mountain, the altitude increases and the oxygen available to his body decreases. The altitude can cause him to feel lightheaded, fatigued, and dehydrated. It also can cause irritability and lack of concentration. These are normal working conditions for him and the two dozen other employees who work at the observatory’s summit location. The spectacular view makes it all worthwhile.

For best practices and tips for better reliability from Baldwin and other experts, follow this link.