Application of Discovery Mat on a gigantic horn antenna housed inside a “Radôme”, Pleumeur-Bodou, France

November 21-23, 2023


Discovery Mat has been applied to the panels and cast elements of the PB1 antenna by Christian Degrigny, Haute École Arc Conservation-Restauration. PB1 iis gigantic horn antenna weighing 340 tons, 50m long and 30m high, housed inside the “Radôme”, an enormous 50m-high sphere. It is located in Pleumeur-Bodou, France. On 11 July 1962, the antenna received the very first live television images from the United States. This world first marked the birth of global television satellite broadcasting (from 1962 to 1985) and paved the way for space-based telecommunications.

With satellite telecommunications facing increasing competition from undersea cables, the Pleumeur site was gradually closed between 1999 and 2003. Since then, the site has been transformed into a museum: the Cité des Télécoms, where you can still see the PB1 antenna under its Radome. The monument was listed on 20 September 2000.

Analyses were carried out in parallel to XRF and LIBS measurements performed by Leopold Rémy from the Research Laboratory of Historical Monuments, Champs-sur-Marne, FR. The panels of the antenna were said to be aluminium-magnesium based. The analytical results seem to validate this information. As expected, the cast elements are made from aluminium-silicon alloys.

The analysis campaign was requested by Maxime Billardey, heritage coordinator at the Cité des Télécoms. He and his team were of great help in making the analyses of this exceptional monument safe and enjoyable.


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