Sunday, September 8, 2013

Filling The Tank With Glass

The mission for the day was to install the heavy optics - starting with the grating, then the collimator & lastly, the 2 sets of camera optics...  This required the optical bench inside the tank to be slid into a more accessible position, which calls for an extra set of rails to be put in place.

 The engine hoist would be earning its keep today!

Here we have the grating assembly being relocated from the optical bench in the clean room to a pallet truck.  Glad to report that Luke was constantly working on his Happy Face after yesterday's apparent glumness!

The pallet truck provided a smoother ride to the spectrometer room than the engine hoist would've offered.

Then the grating was lifted back up with the hoist.

& very carefully wheeled over to the tank.

Before being manoeuvered into position on the optical bench.

Safely parked at last!!  A huge relief to have this most precious part where it belongs :)

Next to go in was the bridge that supports the collimator.

Just a few bolts to make sure it's not going anywhere!

Incoming collimator...

Safely on its perch too!

Now for the cameras - starting with the red one...

Red port open.

& Up Camera!  The pink lifting eyes are such a nice touch - thank you Seso...  Trust those French ;)

For all the Zemax nerds out there: the optical layout for the red camera...

Here's the camera attached to the special lifting jig that supports it in such a way that it can safely be inserted into the port & bolted to the flange on the tank.

Off with the lens cover - revealing the incredibly beautiful red-optimised coatings which do a great job of keeping blue light out of the red camera.

Quite the most Amazing colour!!

 Seen here from inside the tank.

 Now properly lined up & securely bolted in...  1 down, 1 more to go!

Time for the blue camera...

More of those funky pink lifting shackles!

Same process again, although the jig has a slightly modified set-up for the blue camera to take into account its different weight distribution due to the 2 extra lenses.

Here's the blue camera with its coatings that are designed to kick out red light.  Also a really gorgeous looking surface!

Blue camera about to climb through the window...

Being guided into place from the outside.

So there we have it - the red (left) & blue (right) cameras bolted into position, as seen from inside the tank.

I might never get quite enough photos of these lenses!

Shortly after getting all this done, SALT Astronomer Alexei popped in to check on us - probably to find out when we'd go away & take our light pollution with us!

With the contractors due to return tomorrow to paint the outside of the HRS enclosure & finish various odd jobs, we sealed up the tank & covered her up with her space blanket.  In fact, we might need to get her a fluffy toy for bedtime...

Then the big doors were heaved back into place to seal everything up.

All that remained was to head down to town for a late dinner.  But, being Sunday night in Sutherland - we were out of luck so had to settle for a drink at the Hotel & an even later dinner back at the hostel.

However, this did provide a good opportunity to introduce David & Jürgen to the joy of biltong.  Sorry Eddy, we've yet to develop a vegetarian equivalent to this South African staple!

1 comment:

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