Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Day 93, 8/29/2012 -- Pack it up, pack it in, let me begin

Today we made a massive amount of progress in packing the experiment for shipping. We started early -- Britt and Michele at 6:30AM -- to get the gondola ready for the removal of the cryostat and the disassembly of the inner/outer frames. Kyle and I showed up at 7:30 to assist with cryostat removal, which went very smoothly.

After that, we then got the inner frame removed from atop the outer frame and set on the ground. At that point, Kyle and I went to attend to some matters with the cryostat (empyting its helium tank of liquid nitrogen to allow it to warm up further, backfilling with nitrogen gas, and wrapping the exterior with heater straps) while Britt and Michele proceeded to remove components from the gondola (flight computers, cables, sensors, etc).

Once Kyle and I finished the immediate cryostat work, I went back over to the gondola to assist in the disassembly whilst Kyle immersed himself in the vagaries of CANBus on Linux in preparation for our upcoming Bemco testing of various components.

Michele, Matt, and Kevin then left a little after 11AM; Britt and I then continued working on gondola disassembly and awaited the arrival of the riggers to assist us in loading the inner and outer frames into our large shipping container. They arrived around 12:45 and we had both large pieces plus the "triangle" spreader bar loaded into the container by 1:45, give or take a few minutes.

Britt and I continued to load things into the container for the remainder of the day. Kyle took a break from CANBus around 4PM to fill the helium tank with warm water to accelerate its warming, which causes it to reach 273K (ice water temperature) nearly instantly. The cryostat has been left to complete its warming overnight.


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