Vibration dampeners for PANOPTES?

Hi everyone, I’m a part of a new team in the process of building a PANOPTES unit. We plan to use the pier mount on a roof with a concrete slab for stability. We’re wondering if the ambient vibrations from the building would affect the unit’s observations, and if so, how would we go about dampening them? The unit will be mounted on the roof of a school building, if that helps.

We’re always glad to hear from new PANOPTES builders. Where are you located? I’ll have someone else from the team who has more familiarity with the factors associated with a rooftop mount reply to your question.

Welcome to the PANOPTES family!

  • Rachel Zimmerman Brachman
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory

@rachel.z-b @vhood We are located in Edgewater, Maryland.

Bradley (Rob) Rice
South River High School
Technology and Engineering Education Teacher

hmmm interesting question. I doubt it. The pier is solid and does not deflect appreciably from simulations we have run. The biggest source of motion I think will come from the slop in the gears of the mount and I think these will be much larger than vibrations. I say this assuming your roof is not wafer thin, in which case even people walking on the roof (deflections) will effect things.

If you are concerned you can typically buy rubber from Home Depot or online to put under the 4 corners of the pier to isolate it from the concrete slab, or below the slab to isolate if from the roof. You can buy sheet rubber or rounds (cylinder like pieces). Note sorbothane is about the softest rubber you can get which means it also damps the most. But feel free to explore. Keep one thing in mind, while trying to damp things, you could make the whole thing less stable (if on soft rubber it could rock and strong winds could push it around).