Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 3, 3/28/09 -- New Ventures

When we got back last night, we noticed that the parking lot of the Super8 was packed -- apparently the interstate was closed so all of the traffic was diverted through Ft. Sumner. I bet the motel made more money last night than it had in the past month.

At the high bay, Jeff and I continued work on the receiver. I assembled the optics box onto the cold plate while Jeff put the 4K bucket in its flight configuration (no NDF, no extraneous sensors). Because the field lens, which sits in the 4K bucket, is separate from the optics box, it needs to be aligned to the rest of the optics below. The remainder of the day was spent installing the optics box, 4K optics, and attempting to align the field lens. It's still in progress.

Michele and Britt continued work on getting the attitude control system and flight computer crates flight-ready. The ACS is done, while the flight computer still needs some work. Joy and Daniel continued mounting sensors on the gondola. Today the weather was better than yesterday -- it got up to nearly 60 degrees and we had the high-bay door open for a good part of the afternoon.

Jeff and I both have noticed that the high-bay has a preponderance of obstacles right at shin height. The worst of these are the motors that drive the east-west direction of the gantry crane -- I call them the ShinBuster(TM) (see below). The other day I slammed into one of them HARD, and I've got a nice bruise developing. Would it have been so hard to put a right angle drive on it??

On the food front, we tried out our third (of four) Fort Sumner restaurants, Dariland. Described to us as "basically like a Dairy Queen", we knew what to expect going in, and got pretty much exactly what we expected. The hamburgers were morphologically and structurally very similar to the ones from the hamburger shack (large diameter, and a very flat, thin patty that doesn't have a lot of structural integrity), making me think that they both get their food from the same vendor (probably Sysco).

I've decided that I'm going to bring a camera with me every time we go out to eat so I can get pictures of the food, so be on the lookout for that.

We had been informed that Fred's was going to be closing early (2PM...on a Saturday??), so we had to make alternate dinner arrangements. Jeff and I decided we'd just get some sandwich-making supplies from the local grocery store, Dave's Venture Foods (what makes them "Venture" foods, I suspect we'll never know). It's surprising how good a simple sandwich can taste when you've been eating exclusively greasy and/or cheesy food for a couple of days.

Today's pictures:

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