Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 5, 04/05/11 -- Lazy Sunday

Ok, it wasn't really a "lazy sunday" -- we still went in to the high bay, but only after a proper breakfast and we "only" stayed 9 hours.

Kyle spent all day doing cold optics alignment. Normally, this wouldn't take all day, but for some reason Kyle was having a lot of trouble with one lens in the optics box. after scratching our heads for a bit, we realized that the alignment scheme was mechanically overconstrained, which we theorize was leading to strange twists in the lens mount structure. We have removed the overconstraint and are going to tackle the alignment again in the morning.

Meanwhile, I finished up replacing the connectors on Jeff's feedthrough wiring and potted them in epoxy (this time after sealing up the back of the connector with a silicone conformal coating to prevent a repeat of last time). Jeff meanwhile replaced components in the top optics stack of the cryostat. We have one new thermal filter from our collaborators at Cardiff and we hope to have a second in time for the closing of the cryostat. These filters are of a new design that should lead to lower helium boiloff in the cryostat -- always a good thing. Jeff also started work on replacing some half-wave-plate system wiring that lives at 4 Kelvin to account for changes made since the last time the HWP was inside the cryostat.

On a non-science note, Jeff and I have found that the big circular launch pad at CSBF makes for a nice running track. We're clearly not the first to think of this, since the road around the pad is already marked with distance indicators. But since I've decided that I'm going to try and improve my running while here in Palestine (in lieu of my usual physical activities), I decided to get a baseline today. I ran the 1.2 mile loop in 8:20, which corresponds to a 6:57 mile -- way faster than I thought I could run a mile! I'll keep you updated on how I improve (or not) throughout our time in Palestine.

No pictures today, since there was really nothing new worth taking pictures of compared to yesterday. Make sure to check out yesterday's pictures, though, if you missed them (since I added them this morning).

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