For fun, I decided to try to simulate making a paper model of a radio telescope using a 3D modeling program and to display the results using Celestia.
NASA's international network of Deep Space Network radio telescopes is used to track and exchange data with many spacecraft. There are tracking sites at Goldstone, California, near Madrid, Spain, and near Canberra, Australia.
JPL, one of NASA's research labs, provides plans for making paper models of various space-related hardware, including the most-used DSN telescope design, the 34-meter (34m)-aperture Beam Waveguide (BWG) Deep Space Station (DSS) tracking antenna.
For more inforation about the DSN network, see http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/
For more inforation about JPL's paper DSS model, see http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/educ/model.html
For some additional information about this Addon, see http://celestiaguru.blogspot.com/.
This Addon was created for use with Celestia v1.6.0 or later.
Celestia is a free 3D astronomical visualization program. More information about Celestia is available at http://www.shatters.net/celestia/.
Celestia v1.6.0 for Windows, MacOS X and Linux is available at http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=21302
This Addon provides a CMOD model of a "paper" model of one of the tracking telescopes positioned near Goldstone, California. The SSC catalog included in the Addon causes the telescope to track Mars.
If you restore this Zip file into Celestia's Extras directory, it should recreate all of the directories and files necessary for it to work with Celestia v1.6.0 or later.
The included HTML (Web) file contains a Cel:// URL which will take you to a viewpoint near the telescope.
For more information about the Addon, be sure to read its "readme" files.
DSS-24 "paper" model
The model of the telescope rather crude, much like a real paper model would be.
The SSC catalog was created for Celestia v1.6.0. It cannot work with earlier versions of Celestia and may need to be modified for use with later versions.
The telescope turns continuously despite the time of day. Maybe in a future version it'll turn only when the target is above the horizon.
It seems to be floating in the air since no DEM of the local terrain is included. Perhaps one will be provided in a future version of thie or a similar Addon.
The models and surface textures were derived from the instructions and images available at http://deepspace.jpl.nasa.gov/dsn/educ/model.html
The models included in this Addon were created using Anim8or, a free 3D design program written by Steve Glanville. Visit http://www.anim8or.com/ for more information.
The images were adapted using Paint.NET, available for free from http://www.getpaint.net/
This Addon for Celestia was created by Selden Ball and is Copyright © December, 2010. All rights reserved.
This Addon may be freely redistributed for educational purposes. It may not be used for any commercial benefit without explicit written permission from the author.
If you don't tell me that something's missing, unclear or wrong, I can't improve it.