Data logging for New Year's Eve.

James Fisher Strainstall monitors bending stresses for New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square.

Traditionally the New Year Times Square celebrations include a ceremonial raising and lowering of a crystal ball high above the buildings of this famous landmark. As part of the Millennium celebrations, Waterford Crystal constructed a giant crystal ball weighing 6 tonnes, comprising several hundred halogen lamps. The mast used to raise the ball high above Times Square had not previously supported this weight, so in the event of high winds, a monitoring system was proposed to provide early warning in case of significant bending stresses in the mast.

James Fisher Strainstall (JF Strainstall) supplied, installed and commissioned a primary and back-up data acquisition system which monitored the bending stresses during the raising of the ball to the top of the 20 metre mast. Wind speed and direction, ambient temperature and ball surface temperatures were also measured to ensure a successful and safe lowering which was watched by over one billion people around the world.