Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Replacing the tracker ball joints & checking out M5

While most of the country took the day off to go cast their municipal election votes, members of the Tech Ops crew dashed out early to vote & then settled in for a busy day at SALT.  Eben, Johan, Timmy & Thabelo tackled replacing the tracker ball joints: creating the various custom tools they needed & establishing the process on the most accessible of the joints (the one on the down-hill side of the tracker).

Struts are used to support the tracker while the hexapod legs are disconnected to allow the ball joint to be replaced
The ball joints sit at the apex of each pair of hexapod legs
Relieved to see that the old ball joint was still in extremely good condition
Keith kept himself busy with RSS functional tests & various members of the team from Cape Town (Ockert, Janus, Anthony, √Čric & Wouter) arrived throughout the day.  In the evening we took turns climbing inside the now-empty non-rotating structure of the payload to take a look at the top end of the spherical aberration corrector (SAC).  Next week we'll clean the top, upward-looking mirror in the SAC (M5) in a bid to improve the throughput of the telescope.

Ockert & Janus figuring out how to get comfortable within the confines of the payload
A Rather dirty mirror!
The mechanicals will keep going on the ball joints tomorrow & once all the "before" RSS tests are done, Ant can get on with testing the instrument's new spare control PC.

No comments:

Post a Comment