Comm2 Day 1: The ASM heads up the hill

Today was the first full day for our expanded team. After a long 2 days of travel, we got a lot of good sleeping and working accomplished. Oh, and Laird’s suitcase arrived — it’s nice to have toiletries!

The expanded team looked well-rested at lunch (Marco, Alfio, Vanessa, Katie, Laird, Jared’s sweatshirt).

Today Marco and Alfio checked that the ASM cabinet powered up and that the system looked OK.

Yesterday the spic-and-span primary mirror was re-installed in Clay, and last night our telescope was collimated:

The Clay telescope being collimated (last night at sunset)

Today we moved the ASM from the clean room up to the Auxiliary building at the top of the mountain.

We prepped the ASM by turning to face vertically — a stronger position while in motion (it is stored face down — a safer position in case anything strikes it), inspected the mirror surface, and tied it securely to prevent bounces or shocks. In the lower left, Laird is using his sailor skills to show Vanessa and me how to tie a bowline knot. In the lower right, I am trying to get a close-up shot of the slot, my favorite fiducial. The white arcs in the lollipop part of the slot are capacitors for the sensors.

We paused to take a group picture while the truck was being prepared (Alfio, Vanessa, Katie, Laird, Marco)

Here the ASM is being loaded on to the truck. Very carefully.

Strapping the ASM down to the truck.

Here the truck is driving the ASM very slowly up the mountain.

Finally, the ASM is rolled safely into the Aux.

The final result.

This morning Gabriel began cooling Clio with liquid nitrogen:

Liquid nitrogen being pumped from the big tank into the little tank… and then from the little tank into Clio

Vanessa got to work monitoring the instrument and updating its software. Here she is connecting the motors last night:

Vanessa connecting some Clio motors

Gabriel from the day crew filled Clio during the day, and Vanessa and I filled it after dinner, in order to speed it on its way down to 77 Kelvin:

Vanessa and I cooling down Clio.

Here is a video:

Laird, Jared, and Vanessa cleaned the optics in the W-unit and Clio dichroic with soft lens brushes today:

Laird and Vanessa inspect the Clio dichroic. Laird is holding a soft-bristle lens brush used to wipe off dust.

This morning Jared saw a guanaco, looking quintessentially Andes:

A guanaco in its natural habitat (left) and zoomed-in (right)

Vanessa and Jared saw a bird in the Aux:

A bird perched on top of the shelves by the propped-open door to the Aux.

Then this afternoon, Jared and I saw two burros, very appropriately for Palm Sunday:

On the left, you can see two burros in the foreground, and the 100″ telescope in the background. On the right, Jared is making big loud sounds to “get their ears up”.

He succeeded.

“To the nunnery!” –Tyson, heading out after the morning meeting.
“You get them in your mouth!” –Laird, talking about moths at MMT (fortunately, not a problem here!).
“It’s ballpark super-well cooled down.” –Vanessa, reading the Clio temperature gauge.