Yes, I have returned to Palestine, so the blog will now resume! In my absence, many things have changed: The cryostat has been running fully cold, and fridge cycles are going smashingly well (getting cold, lasting a long time). The bolo gang has been hard at work getting the detectors up and running, doing characterization, and getting detectors tuned so that we can take calibration data. Over the past few days, the team has started taking spectral response data with our Ebert-Fastie monochromator, getting nice results in all bands.
In addition, the gondola team (Britt, Michele, Joy, and Chappy from Columbia, and Andrei and KyleH from Brown) has arrived. They have set up their lab area on the north end of the high bay and have the flight computers and attitude control system (ACS) running on the bench. The gondola itself is off being powdercoated by a local vendor, and the baffle-triangle support (BTS) structure is assembled in the other high bay, awaiting its eventual mylar wrapping which will serve to shield the experiment from the sun while at float.
I showed up today after a very early flight, so it'll take me a little while to catch up on the goings-on here. Suffice to say that things are progressing nicely!