Friday, March 27, 2009
Day 2 was pretty straightforward. We spent some more time setting up the 'cryo' area of the high bay and started doing receiver work in earnest. Daniel and Joy worked on getting pointing sensors installed on the gondola, Michele continued battling with making the flight computer flight-ready, and Britt...well, I don't know what she was doing today. What am I, her mother?
Jeff spent much of the day dealing with the optics stack and fixing some gaps in the cryostat's RF shielding. Because the cryostat uses a SQUID-based readout system which is very susceptible to RF interference, special attention was paid to making sure the SQUIDs are shielded from the strong RF generated by the balloon's transmitters. Part of the shielding, around the window, was found to have some gaps that Jeff sealed with RF tape.
Lunch was the highlight of today. One of the 'restaurants', the hamburger stand, sells fried catfish and shrimp on Fridays -- and let me tell you, we'll be looking forward to this every Friday. Turns out that Fred's also has a fish special on Friday -- must be the Catholic influence in the town.
We also spent some time doing some administrative stuff -- I signed us up for phone service in the high bay, and we looked at some non-motel living options. The two houses we saw were complete dumps, but the Columbia gang saw a nice apartment that we'll be renting.