The KAO Compressors

As though the noise of jet engines and air roaring past the uninsulated hull of a cargo plane were not enough, the KAO also has a high-power air compressor loud enough to permanently damage your hearing. The compressor is necessary, though, in order to f loat a couple of tons of telescope on a cushion of air. This cushion, or air bearing, allows the telescope to stay pointing at a star even as the plane is buffeted by turbulence. The noise problem is usually dealt with with a combination of earplugs and head phones.

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