MagAO Commissioning Day 4: The Adaptive Secondary Mirror is installed!

Today we installed the Adaptive Secondary Mirror (ASM), a critical and exciting event!  This is our 1.6 mm thick 85 cm wide fragile thin shell that was transported to the summit yesterday.  It is now hanging up high above the primary mirror in the dome of the Magellan Clay telescope.

We woke up this morning to clouds in the valley to the west — the marine layer.

Marine layer

First, LCO staff removed the f/5 and f/11 mirrors, finishing all that before lunch!  In the afternoon, we transported the ASM to the dome from the aux, and the entire installation process took until dinner or later.

We brought the ASM into the Clay dome using the handling cart (“CartRaptor”).

Bringing the ASM into the telescope dome from the Aux building

Once on the dome floor, we attached a harness, removed one bar of the handling cart to fit the ASM through, and attached a crane to raise it up out of the cart.

Armando demonstrates raising the ASM
Removing one of the bars of the handling cart so the ASM fits up through it
The ASM up on the crane

Juan directed the LCO staff doing the heavy lifting.

Juan Gallardo directing the operation

Armando supervised handling of the ASM.

Armando Riccardi supervises handling of the ASM

Derek installed the CRO (Calibration Return Optic — pretty much a retro-reflector) and laser:

Dr. Derek Kopon, first PhD from the MagAO project, installs the CRO and laser.

Then we lifted the ASM to the level of the secondary truss, and rotated the dome around until it was lined up with the tipped-over telescope.

Rotating the dome and crane to line up the ASM with the secondary truss of the telescope, which is pointed at horizon

Finally, we installed the ASM to the secondary truss of the Clay telescope!

The ASM on its way to the secondary truss of the Clay telescope
The ASM attached to the secondary truss!


And our quote, now that we’ve gotten the ASM safely from Tucson to Florence to Tucson to Florence to Chile and up to the Clay:

“If I’d known how much shipping we were going to do, I would have picked a different project” — Laird Close