Unusual View

Posted by: jstoddard on 12/1/11 3:02 AM


A remote campus location poses some interesting challenges- adequate wireless cell and data services are one. In effort to improve a thready signal, we tried a modular tower upon which to mount antennae. The work involved collaboration between NOLS Information Systems and Wyss project management personnel as well as contracting of Lander Valley Tree Care's bucket truck to help fly the sections. The photo above is from about half the overall height of 56 feet. Our efforts have paid off with a dramatic improvement in one carrier's voice signal but we are still struggling to improve data connectivity.

The ride in the bucket allowed a nice view of the foundation hole for our main structure. The right half of the footprint will be a full basement housing thousands of gallons of rainwater storage, composting systems, and mechanical gear like pumps for ground-source heat pumps. The left side, locatons for two classrooms, will be superinsulated slab on grade. Beyond the trailer full of concrete forms, a modest path leads to the sites for five student residences.

We've recycled solar components from our very well-traveled marketing bus to provide temporary power for office trailer outlets, the amplifier for the cell repeater, and some lighting. We attempted to power electric heaters but high draws exceed what the photovoltaic system can provide. Instead of running large diameter powerlines hundreds of feet to supply the heaters, we've borrowed a portable gasoline generator from NOLS RM. The RM Transportation department has continued to be a tremendous asset as they work on refurbishment of a second generator for our use and prepare T-10X for snowplowing duty.