Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 42, December 5, 2012 -- Calibration and scanning

After yesterday's bad weather, we were also slightly delayed coming in to the high bay this morning because the road condition had deteriorated overnight due to the storm (snow, either falling or drifting). We ended up getting in about an hour late, which gave us an hour less time to set up for the polarization rotation calibration test we had planned to do this morning.

The setup, involving a styrofoam cooler with millimeter-wave absorber and liquid nitrogen plus a large chopper blade with room-temperature absorber, didn't take too long to set up. As is often the case, the major delay was due to weird computing issues, with timestamps from different systems that didn't agree. After restarting a few programs, the bug went away on its own, so we were able to take the data we needed and had the entire experiment off the gondola by about 2:30PM, at which point we gave the gondola over to Joy and Chappy for scan tests.

During the setup for our test, other people in the high bay got various things done. Matt replaced a suspicious-looking capacitor on one of our flight computer motherboards (and I got what I think may be the best photo of the campaign so far, check out the pictures), and KyleH and Andrei finished mylarizing the front part of the upper sun shield. Before giving the gondola over to Chappy and Joy, Seth removed one of the disk pressure vessels from the gondola in order to replace some of the disks that are acting funny, and Britt and I did a quick and dirty magnetometer input linearity check.

Two things I forgot to mention yesterday: Andrei finished installing all of our wiring on our solar arrays, so they are ready to mount and provide power in the sun. And Britt and Matt, with help from the manufacturer, determined that our 'dead' battery isn't actually dead and we can in fact use it after doing a hard reboot of the control processor.


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