Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 11, 4/5/09 -- shackle, shackle, shackle

Say it really fast -- it's fun, isn't it?

Weather today: Clear, chilly, and a bit windy. New Mexico is significantly colder than I thought it would be, in general.

After yesterday's debacle with the half-wave plate (HWP) anti-reflection coating (ARC), we tried to see if there was some way we could salvage the ARC on the side that had only begun to come up a little at the edge. We took some of the separated ARC and tried to tape it with various types of tape down to a disk of fused silica, but neither of them held when cooled to 77K. We made the decision to completely remove the ARC from the HWP, and after removing the residue left from the ARC, Jeff got the HWP mounted in the cryostat.

We also basically have completed the ≤ 1K portion of the instrument. Ilan has to run a few more tests on our thermometry, and we can then put it into the cryostat, close it up, and start pumping. Hopefully this will all happen fairly early tomorrow and we can have a nice, relaxed evening.

Michele and Britt got the flight computer crate up and running (yay!) and are working out whatever kinks they introduced by pulling it apart completely, redoing all the wiring, and putting it back together. Joy and Daniel got the secondary hexapod mounted on the gondola and made measurements of the primary hexapod geometry. Jerry, Joy, and Daniel started painting the gondola with emissive white paint -- and I have to say it looks pretty good. Daniel enjoyed the crane ride in his safety harness too.

We had a meeting today to discuss the state and plans for the next few days. It seems that everything is moving along well -- no major disasters or showstoppers in the works, as far as we can tell. Also at one point in the afternoon, Kevin, Hannes, Ilan, and I took a break to shoot some hoops on the very deformed basketball hoop outside the high bay. I beat Hannes at Pig, Hannes and I beat Kevin and Ilan in 2-on-2, and then we switched it up and Hannes and Ilan beat me and Kevin.

What I'm most excited about is now having SolidWorks installed on my laptop. This computer is so much faster than any of the other computers that we have running SolidWorks that it literally makes me giddy. I was just giggling to myself and marveling at how fast the gondola baffle assembly would update when I spun it around on the screen. Did I mention that I love technology?

Pictures plus bonus video:
http://picasaweb.google.com/asad137/EBEXInNewMexico040509#

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