• Arizona Contractor & Community

McCarthy Manages Thermal Vacuum Chamber Delivery at Applied Research Building Site in Tucson

A large-scale thermal vacuum (TV) chamber that simulates environmental conditions in space was recently delivered to the Applied Research Building (ARB) construction site. Used to test balloon and satellite performance, the chamber, which has been housed for refurbishment at the UA Tech Park since July, will be hoisted into place starting at 6:30 a.m. The operation was managed by design builder McCarthy Building Companies.


The 33.5-ton thermal vacuum chamber, which serves as the crown jewel of the new Applied Research Building on the campus of the University of Arizona, was set into place by McCarthy Building Companies with the help of Stafford Crane Company. This large-scale TV chamber will help researchers simulate environmental conditions in space.

The TV chamber, a 30-footlong cylinder with a 10-foot interior chamber weighing 80,000 pounds, is one of the anchor instruments of the University of Arizona's new $85 million, three-story ARB. Construction of the ARB began in June as crews broke ground on the 89,000-square-foot facility. Located at the southeast corner of East Helen Street and North Highland Avenue, the ARB will house research that advances applied physical sciences and engineering. The building is scheduled to complete in January 2023.

The 33.5-ton thermal vacuum chamber, which serves as the crown jewel of the new Applied Research Building on the campus of the University of Arizona, was set into place by McCarthy Building Companies with the help of Stafford Crane Company.

The building will provide new research capabilities with state-of-the-art equipment and technology and will bring together in one location several interdisciplinary university programs from across four colleges and eight departments.

To facilitate cutting-edge applied research, the ARB will house a variety of specialized spaces. To keep the university at the forefront of space science and exploration, it will serve as a world-class test and integration center for satellites, probes, and spacecraft. The building will offer a range of facilities to enable this, including the TV chamber.