Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 2, 03/31/11 -- Shorts and opens

It was a gorgeous day in Palestine today -- I wore shorts for the first time in months, and it was definitely the right decision.

Our major task for the next week or so is to get the cryostat ready for cooling down. In order to do this, we needed to get some of the hardware out of the cryostat where it was shipped in only a partially-assembled state. This led to our first encounter with CSBF's new crane use policy: For every lift, we need to have multiple people working the crane/controlling the load PLUS a safety officer to supervise. On top of that, our official crane certification hasn't yet come through, so for every lift we need to ask the CSBF personnel to operate the crane. At the moment this is not a big deal, since we use the crane fairly infrequently when putting together the cryostat. However once the gondola gets here, the crane will be needed at the very least every day, if not multiple times a day...

At any rate, we got the transport cover (too heavy for flight) off of the cryostat and I began taking off radiation shields in order to remove some wiring that needs fixing and so that we could take out the aforementioned hardware.

Once we got the hardware out, Kyle set to putting the instrument back together, starting with some thermal isolation legs and then our sub-Kelvin adsorption refrigerators. Meanwhile, Jeff and I were working on cryogenic wiring -- him replacing old wiring that was spec'ed for a different hardware setup than we now have inside the cryostat, and me fixing wiring that was inadvertently damaged before the previous cryostat run in Minnesota, causing open circuits. We all made good progress, and our timeline for closing up the cryostat is looking reasonable.

On a sad note, hardware for the CREAM experiment arrived in the west high bay. That in and of itself is not sad. What's sad is that it's sitting on the badminton court. I guess we'll have to set up the ping-pong table in our high bay (away from all the fragile stuff, of course).

On a blog-related note, internet access from our lodgings is pretty sporadic, meaning that updates may come the morning after (when I get reliable internets at CSBF) rather than the night of.


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