NAS Fitcheck Day -1: Back To Work

MagAO is back at LCO. Jared arrived yesterday (Day -1 on the schedule) to begin preparing for a “fitcheck” where we will bolt the NAS to the telescope and test our communications and plumbing. The NAS (=Nasmyth Assembly because it goes on a Nasmyth port of the telescope) is the big black ring that holds our cameras.

The trip to the mountain from La Serena had some excitement. An accident on the highway caused a long traffic jam, so we followed some locals and took an offroad shortcut.

We followed this truck on the "alternative" route around the traffic jam.
Looking back at the backed up highway after we'd circumvented the mess.

Everything is just how we left it, waiting for us to come back.

The NAS.
The secondary in the clean room, wrapped up to keep dust out.
A familiar view. Still gorgeous.
A nice moon after dinner.

CCD Cooling Build

Jason finished assembling our new CCD (and shutter) cooling system in the mirror lab yesterday. After several tries, and finally replacing the threaded cap that wouldn’t hold pressure, the system passed a pressure and operational test. It’s on its way to Pasadena, and from there to Chile.

Here Jason is installing the drain valve on the tank outlet.
These are our CCD cold plates, and the famous shutter, with coolant flowing through them.
Just after pressurizing the system.
And after about 10 minutes, with the pump running.

Getting Ready

We have settled on dates for our upcoming “NAS Fitcheck” run. We’ll be back at LCO for the last 2 weeks of August, and during the last few days we plan to bolt the NAS on the telescope and test as many things as possible.

Jason and I are working on assembling and testing a new cooling system for the W-Unit here at the Mirror Lab, and plan to have it ready to be installed with the NAS next month.

Jason Lewis stands next to our new cooling system's tank and pump.

MagAO Does Amsterdam

Several members of the MagAO team are in Amsterdam for the SPIE astronomy conference. In addition to presenting several posters and giving some talks, we are also conducting the Clio2 pre-ship review on Wednesday. A busy week.

The Amsterdam RAI conference center is hosting us. The first person to stop by Jared's poster on Monday night and say the word Vizcacha wins a prize.