The blogger is back from a summer vacation. Plenty of activity at the telescope…
The 97 point test was completed a few weeks back and that data in under analysis. A mount model based on the previous 21 point test has been installed and tested. In the last 2 weeks a great deal of reliability has been added to the tracker software. One of the mechanical engineers from Austin was out this week reinstalling the tip/tilt camera, DMI and a new sky camera. On this last wednesday they use that camera to acquire a few fields and make sure the basic pointing of the telescope has not been lost. In addition to a few bright stars the group observed an open cluster just to see what the image quality might be for future plate scale analysis. Today the tip-tilt camera and DMI were used during several trajectories. This is a small milestone. We can use this data to refine the mount model with respect to the primary mirror (best done after we piston the array).
The mirror team has installed the last 4 mirrors into the array and the array is fully populated. We will start mirror swaps when the Remote Thermal Area project is complete and we have a chance to commission the strip and wash room for acid vapor removal. In the mean time the mirror team have measured the array with a sphereometer so that we can implement a piston move in the coming week.
The contractors on site have finished the silver tape application to the control and services building and next week they will start on the Krabbenhut. The mechanical contractor continue to work on the insulation that goes around the lines/pipes out to the remote thermal area. Last week the dirt works contractors finished the piers down the side of the mountain which will carry the acid vapor from the strip and wash room as well as the heat from the control and services building. The contractors are now working on the acid ducting inside the building and the conduit piers on the side of the Krabbenhut. The electrical contractors completed the move of one of the transformers from outside the control and services building to inside the Krabbenhut. This required the HET to operate from a generator for nearly a week. Big thanks to the McDonald Physical Plant team for allowing us to use the generator and keeping it filled over the weekend so that our sewer system would not be in jeopardy.