January 1996

Up to now the ramming for the eastward trench has been completed and the first 100 m for the northward trench have been done.

17th January 1996:

The reinforcement beams stabilizing the trench, are welded to the I-beams running along the panels to prevent the trench from collapsing. Zoom Image
The reinforcement beams stabilizing the trench, are welded to the I-beams running along the panels to prevent the trench from collapsing. [less]
The welders use a small cart running on the I-beams with a portable generator put atop. Zoom Image
The welders use a small cart running on the I-beams with a portable generator put atop.

18th January 1996:

The steel construction for the central station has been set up. To get an idea of the scales: The hole in the northern wall, where the tube will finally pass  through, has got a diameter of 1m. The building is 8 m x 13 m. Zoom Image
The steel construction for the central station has been set up. To get an idea of the scales: The hole in the northern wall, where the tube will finally pass
through, has got a diameter of 1m. The building is 8 m x 13 m. [less]
Meanwhile the insulation (a sandwich construction of aluminium sheets with insulating foam in between) is fixed to the eastern end-house. Zoom Image
Meanwhile the insulation (a sandwich construction of aluminium sheets with insulating foam in between) is fixed to the eastern end-house. [less]

19th January 1996:

The builders have to use the most sophisticated and modern equipment in their struggle to get the building closed before they are frozen to the ground.  At this time of the day it is -8°C and a freezing eastern wind. Zoom Image
The builders have to use the most sophisticated and modern equipment in their struggle to get the building closed before they are frozen to the ground.
At this time of the day it is -8°C and a freezing eastern wind. [less]
Imagine, this is supposed once to become a cleanroom!! Zoom Image
Imagine, this is supposed once to become a cleanroom!!

20th January 1996

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21st January 1996:

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29th January 1996:

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Except for the first week of January work has completely been stopped. The wheather is extremely cold right now, the ground is frozen to a depth of about one and half a meter. This morning's (9.2.1996) temperature has been -17°C. Within the next week there is no change to be expected.

May 1996

Now, in the middle of May 1996 the ramming of the second trench is done, except for the last 150 m. The I-beams and transverse reinforcement beams are welded at the first 400 m. The northward trench is dug out at a length of about 500 m and will be finished within the next week. The first two sections of the rail where the tube will be hung at and pushed out of the end house have been installed and works all right. We have set up a wooden 'hut' in front of the eastern end-house for storing up to six tube sections before welding them together inside the end-house. Inside the eastern end-house the 'platforms' are set up and the major part of the electrical installation ist done.

We intend to begin tube installation around end of May. A short tube section has been taken out of the actual manufacturing process and its vacuum properties (outgasing rate, residual partial pressures before and after baking) are checked.

View from the central station to the eastern end house. Zoom Image
View from the central station to the eastern end house.
View from the eastern end house to the central station. Zoom Image
View from the eastern end house to the central station.
View from the central station to the northern end house. Zoom Image
View from the central station to the northern end house.
The trench just before the eastern end house. A part of the tube can be seen. Zoom Image
The trench just before the eastern end house. A part of the tube can be seen.
The eastern end house with the wooden 'hut'. Zoom Image
The eastern end house with the wooden 'hut'.
The central station. Zoom Image
The central station.
Inside the central station. View from the entrace. Zoom Image
Inside the central station. View from the entrace.
Inside the central station. View from below. Zoom Image
Inside the central station. View from below.
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June 1996

Now, on the 24th of June, the eastern end-house is finished, the welding machine is in place, and the rail where the tube will be hung from is installed and adjusted. We have built a "wooden hut" with a shelf inside which takes up to 6 pieces of the 4.5 m tube sections for short term storing capacity. The trench is ready and covered with corrugated sheet metal. The welding of the tube will (hopefully) begin within a week or two.

The ramming of the second trench is nearly completed. There are only about 100 m left. We are currently checking the vacuum properties of a 75 cm test section taken out of the manufacturing process. The first results look promising.

View into the central station (from the entrance). You can see the beginning of the south-north trench(left side of the picture), and the west-east trench (right side). Zoom Image
View into the central station (from the entrance). You can see the beginning of the south-north trench
(left side of the picture), and the west-east trench (right side). [less]
The eastern end house with the wooden hut. Michaela is just taking spectra of the seismic motion inside the end house. Zoom Image
The eastern end house with the wooden hut. Michaela is just taking spectra of the seismic motion inside the end house.
Inside the eastern end house. The red part (to keep people off from here) is the separate foundation where the tank will be placed upon. From here the tube will lead 600 m to the central station. Zoom Image
Inside the eastern end house. The red part (to keep people off from here) is the separate foundation where the tank will be placed upon. From here the tube will lead 600 m to the central station. [less]
Inside the eastern end house. You can see the welding machine (red) with a short test segment of tube in front of the port in the wall leading to the trench (with the black seal to keep the building dust tight when welding the tube) and another tube section to see whether everything fits together. During the welding process the building will be slightly pressurized to prevent dust entering the building. An air lock allows to enter the building. Zoom Image
Inside the eastern end house. You can see the welding machine (red) with a short test segment of tube in front of the port in the wall leading to the trench (with the black seal to keep the building dust tight when welding the tube) and another tube section to see whether everything
fits together. During the welding process the building will be slightly pressurized to prevent dust entering the building. An air lock allows to
enter the building. [less]
Sir Harald on his horse ('wild fiesta blue'), ready to fight the black knight... Zoom Image
Sir Harald on his horse ('wild fiesta blue'), ready to fight the black knight...
Installing the rail, where the tube will be hung at. Each rail segment has a length of 12 m. Zoom Image
Installing the rail, where the tube will be hung at. Each rail segment has a length of 12 m.
On a hot summer day (temperatures are above 30°C), the rail for the west-east trench is going to be installed. From the left to the right you see: Mathias, Michael, Hans, Andreas, and Dirk. The electrical drill is mounted on a trailer behind an old tractor. A generator is placed on the pickup seen on the left hand side. Zoom Image
On a hot summer day (temperatures are above 30°C), the rail for the west-east trench is going to be installed. From the left to the right you see:
Mathias, Michael, Hans, Andreas, and Dirk. The electrical drill is mounted on a trailer behind an old tractor. A generator is placed on the pickup seen on the left hand side. [less]
Hans in the trench, installing the rail, which is hung each 3 m from the reinforcement beams between the panels. The wheels sitting atop the reinforcement beams allow thermal expansion of the rail, which is bolted together at the joints and therefore acts as one long rail. The thermal expansion between winter and summer of the whole rail is expected to be roughly 60 cm. Zoom Image
Hans in the trench, installing the rail, which is hung each 3 m from the reinforcement beams between the panels. The wheels sitting atop the
reinforcement beams allow thermal expansion of the rail, which is bolted together at the joints and therefore acts as one long rail. The thermal
expansion between winter and summer of the whole rail is expected to be roughly 60 cm. [less]
Hans and Benno working in the trench. Zoom Image
Hans and Benno working in the trench.
READY! You can see a part of the roof that will cover the trench. Attached to the rail you can see the trolley for pushing the tube out of the end house. The black wheel connected to the trolleytakes the rope where the tube will rest in. That way the whole tube can be rotated around it's axis. In the trench on the right hand side you see the power supply cable running to the central station. Zoom Image
READY! You can see a part of the roof that will cover the trench. Attached to the rail you can see the trolley for pushing the tube out of the end house. The black wheel connected to the trolley
takes the rope where the tube will rest in. That way the whole tube can be rotated around it's axis. In the trench on the right hand side you see the power supply cable running to the central station. [less]
And now it's ...  (from left to right: Benno, Michael, Hans, Andreas (back), Mathias, Mia, Jeannie) Zoom Image
And now it's ...

(from left to right: Benno, Michael, Hans, Andreas (back), Mathias, Mia, Jeannie)
... teatime.  (from left to right: Mathias, Michaela, Michael, Andreas, Hans, Benno) Zoom Image
... teatime.

(from left to right: Mathias, Michaela, Michael, Andreas, Hans, Benno)

September 1996

The wooden hut in front of the eastern end-house. Zoom Image
The wooden hut in front of the eastern end-house.
A look from the top of the central station to the northern end-house. Zoom Image
A look from the top of the central station to the northern end-house.
The delivery of new tubes in front of the eastern end-house. Zoom Image
The delivery of new tubes in front of the eastern end-house.
The tubes are stored within the wooden hut. Zoom Image
The tubes are stored within the wooden hut.
A tube is placed in front of the sluice ... Zoom Image
A tube is placed in front of the sluice ...
... and pushed into the interior of the eastern end-house. Alexander removes the protective cover of the tube. Zoom Image
... and pushed into the interior of the eastern end-house. Alexander removes the protective cover of 
the tube.
The tube hovers above the welding machine. Zoom Image
The tube hovers above the welding machine.
The welder at work. Zoom Image
The welder at work.
The tube is pushed into the trench. Zoom Image
The tube is pushed into the trench.
Benno shows how the tube is suspended. Zoom Image
Benno shows how the tube is suspended.
Alexander in the trench pushing the tube. Zoom Image
Alexander in the trench pushing the tube.

October 1996

Work at the Central Station

A smaller container is installed in front of the central station, serving as entrance hall and clean-room gate. Zoom Image
A smaller container is installed in front of the central station, serving as entrance hall and clean-room gate.
The staircase leading to the groundfloor of the central station. (McBenno is watching you!) Zoom Image
The staircase leading to the groundfloor of the central station. (McBenno is watching you!)
The floor of the central station. Nobody would expect this to be a clean room. Not yet! Zoom Image
The floor of the central station. Nobody would expect this to be a clean room. Not yet!
A view into the opposite direction. In the background one can see the lobby of the central station. Zoom Image
A view into the opposite direction. In the background one can see the lobby of the central station.
Outside the central building. The crew has uncovered the trench in order to install the suspension for the tube. Zoom Image
Outside the central building. The crew has uncovered the trench in order to install the suspension for the tube.
Zoom Image

Bird's-Eye Views

A look at GEO600 from the eastern end-house. Zoom Image
A look at GEO600 from the eastern end-house.
A bird's-eye view of GEO600. Zoom Image
A bird's-eye view of GEO600.

The Directional Radio Connection

We have installed a directional radio connection from Ruthe to the University of Hannover in order to transmit the data of GEO600 to the computer centre. Zoom Image
We have installed a directional radio connection from Ruthe to the University of Hannover in order to transmit the data of GEO600 to the computer centre. [less]
A look at the central station from the top of the radio tower. In the foreground of the central station bales of rockwool. Zoom Image
A look at the central station from the top of the radio tower. In the foreground of the central station bales of rockwool. [less]
A look from the top of the radio tower towards Hannover. Zoom Image
A look from the top of the radio tower towards Hannover.

Fall 1996: Progress Report

November 14, 1996
For the moment just a short note in order to report on the progress made since June. New pictures will follow as soon as our new scanner has been installed.

All the houses are finished, but still empty. Next, cranes will be installed. Then cleaning and painting can be done followed by the floor covering. Large containers have been placed in front of the houses, serving as entrance area and clean room gate.

Telephones have been installed. Feel free to call:
+49-511-762-6165 (Central house) or +49-511-762-6148 (Eastern end house).

The trenches are all covered by corrugated iron roofs shining in the sun. (Should give an interesting look as seen from the sky!) The welding of the first tube makes good progress - 420 m have been completed. We hope to see it finished by the end of the year. (Yes, we are professional optimists.)

December 5, 1996
Our new scanner has been installed. The first new pictures can be seen at the September and October pages. For the moment the main pictures are rather large (cf. the Oct. pics ~ 350k).

The welding of the first tube continues to make good progress – 430 m have been completed. We still hope to see it finished by the end of the year.

December 19, 4 pm

The welding of the first tube has been finished!

Merry Xmas & a happy New Year to all the people of GEO600!