Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 39, 7/5/2012 -- Everything's coming up Milhouse

After the past few days of battling with electronics and fridge issues, it was a refreshing and welcome change to come in to the high bay this morning with everything working. We are taking more polarized Ebert-Fastie data, and indications so far are that we can use data taken during the polarized scans to get both polarization data and overall power spectral response information, which will make our data gathering twice as efficient!

Kyle returned from Minnesota late yesterday, bringing with him a new UMN grad student, Cynthia, who's here to help out where possible and gain experience in the field. One of the first things Kyle noticed when arriving at the high bay was that the mirrors had been put on the inner frame -- at which point he pointed out that we needed to align the mirror mounts first. And aligning the mirror mounts requires having the cryostat on the gondola, as the mirror mounts (six-legged contraptions known as "hexapods" or "Stewart platforms") are aligned relative to the optics inside the cryostat. So, off they came.

But the gondola team got plenty of other stuff done today: They mounted the trunnion bearings, mounted the flight computer and ACS crates, and wrapped the flight ropes (those sexy lavender beasts) with red balloon wrap to protect against abrasion and other damage.


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