Thursday, December 2, 2021

AR Tech Covers James Webb Telescope Manufactures Class 8 Clean Room Contamination Covers


FONTANA, CA, March 25, 2019 – AR Tech, a subsidiary of A&R Tarpaulins Inc., recently completed a more than two year project for Northrop Grumman who is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the James Webb Space Telescope.

AR Tech began collaborating with Northrop engineers in August 2016 on the concept of a large contamination cover for the telescope. Northrop’s contamination engineers trained AR Tech technicians on how to conduct sample inspection cleaning, thus meeting NASA’s strict criteria.

AR Tech engineers and personnel built the first iteration of the project in mid 2017, the second “backup” set soon thereafter, and then began working on the third and final launch site set in August 2017. The cover included inner and outer components. The production process of the 36-foot-tall cover included 300 hours of labor, per piece. The covers were delivered in October 2018 and featured in a video released by NASA Goddard in February 2019.

“The James Webb Space Telescope will replace the Hubble,” said Bud Weisbart, A&R Tarpaulins Vice President. “The James Webb telescope will be further out in space than its predecessor, thus it can’t be repaired by astronauts. That’s why our contamination cover is so important; it ensures that the telescope will remain absolutely clean during preparations and ground transportation for its mission.”

The contamination cover encloses the Webb Telescope’s “brain” and sunshield, known together as the spacecraft element. The cover is designed to protect the Webb Telescope during transport, thus ensuring its cleanliness for its deep-space mission which is set for launch on March 30, 2021.

“The two technical lead team members, Martha Ponce and Dermidio Gonzalez, saw this project through its many iterations and helped us meet NASA’s requirements,” Weisbart said. “Without our team of truly experienced and professional engineers, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”


About A&R Tarpaulins Inc.

A&R Tarpaulins is the parent company of AR Tech and AR Industries and provides products and services for flight hardware, ground support to various aerospace companies providing satellite launches, architectural products and services for homes and businesses and industrial products for the transportation industry. For more information contact A&R at 909-829-4444 or visit

Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.