Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Day 21, 4/15/09 -- Tax day!

Another gorgeous day in New Mexico.

Today Jeff and I started the process of cutting metal for the gondola protection hardware. I say "Jeff and I", but really it was just Jeff. We figured out what needed to be done, but he actually was the one in the machine shop all afternoon and evening. I spent the better part of the day trying to place an order from my favorite industrial supply company, McMaster-Carr. I had to go through the gondola model and figure out exactly what kind and how many screws were needed for the structure we're building. I also did a bit of FEA on some mechanical parts that are clearly WAY overkill; hopefully we'll be able to remove a bunch of material and save some weight.

I also finally got the liquid helium level sensor working, using the current source on the dedicated level sensor board built at Weizmann. Using this board, we measured the liquid helium boiloff to be about a 12 liters per day, for a total hold time of about 5.5 days -- more than enough for an at-most-36-hour flight.

The gondola team has been having a frustrating day -- things that used to work don't anymore, and they've been working hard to try and figure it out. The detector crew came in to find all the power to the readout system gone -- turns out a fuse had blown overnight and they had to spend some time this morning getting everything back in an operational state.

The most exciting news for today is that I got my very own cowboy hat. It's an Atwood Low Hereford 7X, size 7-3/8. And I'll be damned if it doesn't look good on me.

Pictures are pretty meager today. Sorry.

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