Sunday, September 15, 2013

Installing the FIF & HRS Guider!

This morning Jürgen did some more work on the feed optics for the exposure meter after adjusting the grating (& hence the exposure meter mirror) downwards slightly.  

This prevented these extra optics from intruding on the science beam & slightly improved the image quality as well.  The little white wiggle is the out-of-focus image from the exposure meter mirror projected on a screen.

The real action for the day though was getting the Fibre Instrument Feed (FIF) & its guider installed.  But first, a chance to check the dreaded interface: do the actual HRS fibres attach properly to the FIF stage?

Yes they do :)  Oh Happy Day!

So then it was time to don safety harnesses (with the added complication of needing Lots of warm clothing underneath!) before making our way up to the tracker.

Being up there gave Ray & David a chance to scope out exactly where the fibre conduit will be routed & how the break-out box + fibre ends will need to be mounted when that lot gets installed sometime next week.

The new aerodynamic Luke wisely stayed down in the marginally warmer control room, working on the data reduction tools we'll need when we get to go on-sky one of these days.

The most challenging aspect of installing the FIF & guider was getting the multitude of cables routed through the extremely tight confines of the payload's Rotating Structure (RS) & then connecting them to the Faulhaber rack that lives in a neighbouring bay in the RS.

With one end's worth of cables connected, the guider could be mounted in the FIF bay.

& it looks Very Classy in there... :D

Next up - the FIF stage assembly.  See the July blog post about the FIF's trial-installation for more about this critical sub-system that provides the interface between the telescope & the HRS.

The adoring fans were in extreme awe...

& rightly so - How Cool Is That?!

The free ends of all the cables were then connected up & the various stages tested.  One of the guider stages proved to be unhappy so the guys would have some detective work to do overnight.

While they noodled on all that, Ray, Jürgen & I went crawling around underneath the primary mirror to check out the hole at the top of the pintle bearing.  This is where the fibre bundle will emerge from after it's pushed up through the hole in the roof of the spectrometer room.

Being underneath the primary mirror array is surely one of the niftier hiding places in this telescope!

For those of you that've developed an affinity for colourful optics, here's your daily dose...

Ok - One more, I like them too ;)

Hard to believe it's been two weeks since we came up here to start this process.  In some ways it feels much longer than that, but we've come a long way & there's still much to look forward to over the next couple of weeks!

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