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, Éric & 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.