Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 100, 9/5/2012 -- 100 Days of Summer

Or, Bemco Day II: Electric Boogaloo.

We got in early today so we could start today's Bemco test of the double window mechanism as early as possible. After starting the test around 8:30AM, Kyle and I went back to the high bay to figure out what else we could pack up into the shipping containers.

By around 11AM, we had packed all we could. At this point, Kyle was ready to test the double window, a task which took his attention for most of the rest of the day. I sat around and did nothing, basically (thank FSM for Netflix). By 4PM, the Bemco test was (successfully) completed and everything was removed and packed. We finished staging the final items to be loaded in containers tomorrow, which we will do first thing in the morning before hitting the road for Dallas and our return flight to Minneapolis.

I suppose here, on a nice round number, is as good a time as any to end this edition of EBEX in Flight. Next time I update: Antarctica!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 99, 9/4/2012 -- Bemco Day!

After getting our first round of components to Bemco test set up last night, basically everything was ready to go this morning when we got in. We had a few small issues setting up the CSBF programmable load, but once those kinks were ironed out, the test started and ran smoothly all day. Unfortunately, since the monitoring software for the Bemco doesn't record temperatures, and because we had to record temperatures from three disparate sources (Bemco thermocouples on a computer screen, AD590 temperature sensors read out via CANBus by one of the housekeeping boards inside the power crate, and the onboard temperature sensors on the HWP DfMUX boards read out via webpages over Ethernet), we had to record data by hand every 10-20 minutes. Kyle took on the task of babysitting the test, which lasted for about 5 hours.

During that time, I continued packing the things I could. I got the second Knaack box closed up and in its shipping container (with Kyle's help to maneuver it inside the container), and once the Bemco testing was done I finished packing up the bolometer readout hardware for its trip to Montreal for some timing debugging and the HWP crate for shipment to the ice. Tomorrow promises to be a long day, with another long Bemco test overseen by Kyle as well as a fair amount of packing things into containers.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 98, 9/3/2012 -- Just forkin' around on Labor Day

One nice thing about having our Bemco testing delayed until this week is that it has given us time to pack up the experiment in a relatively leisurely manner. Today, we spent the morning packing things into our shipping containers, with our electronics going into our "no freeze" container and other things distributed into other containers. The afternoon was spent indoors, setting up for our Bemco test and packing up some of the odds and ends lying about the high bay. At the end of the day, once the containers were in the shadow of the high bay, we went back outside and added a few more things to the containers. All of this action-packing requires pretty regular use of a forklift, and as Kyle does not have a license to operate the NASA forklift, I have to do all of the forklift operation. Not that I'm complaining -- it's pretty fun.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 97, 9/2/2012 -- And then there were two

The remnants of the Columbia crew (Britt, Joy, and Chappy) left today, leaving myself, Kyle, and a bunch of bugs as the only denizens of the high bay. We did a little more straightening up in the morning, and then Kyle got to work reassembling the double window system for its Bemco testing on Wednesday. I put together the LCS pump, reservoir, and some tubing so we can test the repaired LCS motor at the same time as the double window cold test. The rest of the time was spent packing electronics to put in our "no freeze" shipping container.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 96, 9/1/2012 -- High cube away!

Another day full of activity here in Palestine. Our high cube container was put on a truck headed for Port Hueneme this morning. Columbia managed to get most of their stuff packed into containers today, with just one or two things left for tomorrow before they leave.

Kyle and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon getting the cryostat ready to pack up, put in its shipping crate, and then put in a shipping container. After that, we were finally able to start cleaning up our area of the high bay, shutting down and packing computers, cleaning up cables, etc. Another solid day of this and we'll have most of the stuff packed.