The Pineleno Mountains of southeastern Arizona can become very uncomfortable for humans and their equipment.

That is unless they happen to work at the Steward Observatory on Mt. Graham doing research for the University of Arizona. In August of 2011 we were contacted by the University of Arizona to help solve e problem they were having at the Observatory.

The below freezing temperatures were prohibiting the weather mast from providing data: barometers. anemometers and other sensors dealing with rain and humidity were rendered useless to the operators and astronomers trying to collect data, when the shutter doors were open, the Large Binocular Telescope could be damaged by falling ice. Could Leister Hot Air provide a solution? The answer was YES!

Working with one of the operators, we learned that they wanted to provide a continual stream of controlled, focused hot air throughout the weather mast to prevent buildup of snow and ice, something with a small footprint that would work in temperatures as low as -20C. Another feature they were interested in was to control the unit remotely if possible. We had a perfect fit.


LEISTER’S NEW Hotwind System had everything Steward Observatory was looking for. Small and compact, this newly upgraded hot air tool provides sufficient airflow and a temperature as high as 650C. A brush-less motor allows for long continuous duty cycles. The integrated power electronics and interface allows the user to control airflow and temperature remotely and an LCD display helps the operator see what the current status of the tool is.

On the first day of use, the staff at the Steward Observatory started up the Hotwind System at 9:00 a.m. Once running, they were able to go on to other duties and allow the Hotwind System to do its job. A few hours later, when they returned to check on the status of the weather masts, they were happy to find them almost completely free of ice. The only ice that was left was in places the mast didn’t receive hot air.

This was in late November and since then, the staff at the Steward Observatory have been able to keep the snow and ice off important sensors and from building up in key areas by using more than one Leister Hotwind System.

Whatever the application, if you need hot air Leister Hot Air Tools are what you need. We were glad we could help find a solution for the staff at the Steward Observatory and we look forward to finding solutions for you too!

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