It has been a few weeks since the last blog post. The blogger was out of town…
In the past few weeks there has been considerable progress. The hexapod assembly and PFIP have been mounted on the tracker. Many of the tests have pointed to significant communications troubles with different circuit boards, broken wires etc.. Many of these have been resolved and we have fairly stable X motion of the tracker but the Constant Force Drive (CFD) has been not been behaving well so that has limited the use of the tracker in Y. Since most of tracker cabling work and repainting of the upper hex are complete we have been able to remove the safety net above the primary mirror and begin installing the mirrors. In the past week the mirror team removed the net and installed 40 recoated mirrors.
In the rest of this week the mirror team will be installing the last mirrors (leaving a few holes in the array so that we can install test spots for the laser tracker). Once the mirrors sensors are in place we will begin aligning (stacking) all of the mirrors with night operations. This will be the first night time operations for the Telescope Operators since August 2013. Once the mirrors are aligned the mirror team will piston the array. This work will likely take the rest of the week.
In parallel, we hope to have some new circuits in place later this week which will allow the tracker team to test the CFD and Y motions again. Once those are working then they can test the hexapod motion.
Other work that will be done this week in parallel are the work on the purge air lines, installing mounting plates for future testing equipment and a punch-list of software and hardware work.