Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day 56, 7/22/2012 -- Sunday sun day

Various things done today -- Britt and I got the two solar arrays fully populated with solar panels, we cycled the fridges, we got the bolo system connected to its flight power system with a battery (built-in UPS!), filled helium, and the night shift is getting ready to take more water tower scans overnight tonight.

In the morning, I had to climb the water tower to retrieve a piece of equipment that I forgot to bring down yesterday; it had to weather the storm (covered by a plastic box) and I had to make sure it still worked. And, despite my bumbling, it did, even after I accidentally connected the +12V power to the output and tried to measure the output signal from the 12V input power connector. Oops.

The overnight team had a dramatic victory last night, though. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, there were thunderstorms in Palestine overnight. The power at the high bay often goes out during these thunderstorms, and if the bolometer system loses power, we lose all of our bolometer biases, the bolometers latch superconducting, and the detectors have to be warmed en masse in order to recover them, a process that takes many hours as the focal planes cool again to their operating temperature. Concerned about this possibility, Kyle insisted that they hook the bolometer system up to a set of batteries in order to prevent this in case the power did go out, as is its wont. After frantically assembling a set of cables and going through the switchover procedure, they got the system on batteries -- and not 2 minutes later, the high bay power went out. But the system stayed powered!

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/104253244018605213307/EBEXInPalestine20120722

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