Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 5, 6/1/2012 -- That's more like it

Today was much the same as yesterday: Kyle worked mostly on getting the focal planes ready to be installed into the instrument, Jeff worked on half-wave-plate parts and some changes to flight computer code (with remote help from Seth at Columbia), and Franky continued to work on DfMUX heatsinking. I ran some errands in the morning (to buy some ladders to replace the ones taken) and in the afternoon started work on refitting the o-rings on the EBEX double window system.

I probably haven't mentioned the double window before at all in any previous editions of the EBEX in Flight blog. In the past, EBEX has used a single thick but rather absorptive window due to the huge amount of pressure trying to force the window inwards into the cryostat. The double window, as the name implies, has two windows -- a thick one for ground operations in order to resist the relative pressure between outside and inside the cryostat and a much thinner window for use at float altitude where the pressure differential is much smaller. While we don't plan on using the sliding functionality until we actually fly from Antarctica, this year's Palestine integration will mark the first time the double window will actually be installed on the cryostat (previous testing was with the system in isolation) and will give us the first opportunity to figure out whatever new challenges come from adding this new system.


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