2015A Day 32: Ain’t no sunshine

Some light clouds at sunset, but low winds. Looking good (for 2015A) for Amanda and Atom from MIT, to look at various Solar System bodies that tend to be right into the wind:

We got to look to the North and East tonight because the wind was finally below our limit! Top: mid-ish night; Bottom: dawn-ish.

The internet went down but we can run everything internally just fine, so it just meant no Facebooking or emailing our families, so we carried on. (How are we still blogging? It seems the commercial internet was down but not the “Internet 2” which carries the .edu traffic so we can still get to the blog hosted on / even if we can’t get to many other sites.)

A small earthquake hit, the loop opened, we all looked around, then got back on target and closed the loop:

Top — the earthquake caused the forces on our deformable mirror to ramp up (see the steep climb on the right half of the “Peak Mirror Force” plot), then the loop opened and the shell RIPd, and I force-enabled the TSS (see big red button and fake “500 m/s” wind reading) for safety — I felt it coming. Bottom: It was a 5.2 quake near Vallenar.

Then the X stage controller started acting up, and we had to call it a night. I’m going to get some shuteye here while Jared works on it for a bit with Alfio (remotely from Florence).

Update a couple hours later: X stage motor controller replaced, seems to be working. We’ll start tonight with a bunch of tests, but let’s hope that solved the problem.

From the very start of the evening:

We met these burros on our way up to change the batteries in the wind monitor.

The infamous wind monitor:

This exciting picture is the wind monitor