Installation Week

At the end of all of the planning and facility construction, three or four days are allocated to install SOS pieces. By this time, the facility work is complete (refer to "Installation Roles") and the final phase of setup can commence. During this time, NOAA personnel work with the site's installation and facilities personnel to hang the sphere, mount the projectors, setup the audio system, setup the computers, and get the system operational. Several training sessions follow the setup, during the latter part of the week.

During the setup, it is recommended that the site's technical focal point be available to act as a liaison between NOAA and the others during the setup. Also, at least one or two facility people need to be available to help hang the sphere and take care of any last minute facility adjustments (cables, power, etc). Usually there are at least two NOAA representatives on site during this part of the setup phase.

For the duration of the setup week, it is expected that the local site provide any required ladders or lifts (Genie lifts) for hanging the projectors, sphere, and any other cables. NOAA will send several boxes of tools that will be used during the installation.

Flow of Activity

  • Day 1
    • NOAA personnel arrive, meet local personnel, review site, and discuss installation issues.
    • General check to ensure ladders, lifts, etc, are available for hanging the sphere
    • Sphere is unpacked, assembled, and the seam is sealed
    • Projector and sphere locations are verified
    • Sphere is hung from ceiling and heights adjusted (need at least 4 people)
    • Begin computer configuration and any necessary plugging in of components
    • Help local staff attach projectors to mounts if necessary
  • Day 2
    • Fire up all components and perform initial alignment
    • Paint and finish sphere
    • Verify computers, network, and video connections are completely functional
    • Start transfer of real time data
    • Hold two training sessions in the afternoon
  • Day 3
    • Resolve and keep working on issues from previous days
    • Continue with projector alignment. Simultaneously training local site on alignment
    • Further sphere testing
    • Conduct remainder of training sessions
    • Last minute details are finished
    • Final system walk through with local site technical point
    • NOAA tools are packed and prepared to be sent out
    • NOAA personnel depart that evening or next day

Special Considerations

During the first day, the sphere needs to be assembled. It comes in two parts and is assembled like a silly-putty egg. The seam needs to be sealed with spackling compound and then sanded smooth. This makes some dust and requires some drop clothes. As a secondary item, after the compound dries, the sphere needs to be painted with an ultra white, flat latex paint. The painting is usually done with rollers.

Equipment Needed During Setup (provided by local facility)

  • One or two 8' ladders to work with projectors
  • A ladder or lift tall enough to reach the ceiling mount support for the sphere.
  • A ladder or lift tall enough to reach the mount points for the audio
  • Drop cloth for spackling, sanding, and painting the sphere.
  • A work table for tools and supplies
  • For training, a large TV monitor or projector and seating for site staff in the exhibit space


If the facility work is complete, then the setup usually takes one and one half days days to complete. This schedule may be delayed if there are computer or facility issues. The training usually begins on the afternoon of the second day and is completed on day three.