MagAO-X 2019B Day 1: Black Friday Specials

Just for today, my friends, we have an unbeatable special offer: with each concurrency bug you find, we will throw in another concurrency bug for free!

And, if you call now, we will throw in a semaphore collision bug at no charge! That’s a $49.99 value!

Call now! Or, if you prefer an event-driven programming model: let us call you with this exclusive offer!

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system: we have been vexed by concurrency bugs today. These are the absolute worst. To reproduce them, you must get everything just right. (In astronomical instrumentation, that can sometimes literally mean the stars aligning.) Then, once you’ve reproduced it, you’re still only halfway to figuring out which element of your system caused it.

To make a long story short, my PurePyINDI library wasn’t equipped for the huge numbers of elements Kyle wanted to control. Once I sorted out the locking in PurePyINDI, Kyle was able to apply his eye doctor script (previously blogged about) on more than the previous maximum of 36 modes. (Modes, for the uninitiated, are a bit like “things that can go wrong”. The more modes you can take to the doctor, the better your images will be.) Now we can theoretically access the 1000+ modes CACAO spits out when we take a system response matrix, and make our images very sharp indeed. On the way there, we get a bit of an Eye of Sauron look:

The goal is to put all the starlight in the center.

I’m not even going to tell you about the bugs in the linear stage logic we shook out today. As soon as we squashed one, we found another, more subtle one. And another. Until we were all quite sick of stages.

This was also the day of a very important MagAO-X ceremony. Today, at 9:00 A.M., Laird and Alex unveiled the dedicatory tailpiece and plaque, which surround (and cover, when not in use) the hole for the MagAO-X eyepiece.

Laird unveils the MagAO-X tailpiece.

Here’s a closer look:

For some reason, I’m the only one with a middle name shown.

According to Professor Close, it is traditional for a new instrument to be adorned with a tailpiece as a sort of maker’s mark once it’s complete. Great work, everyone!

Subset of the MagAO-X team poses with the instrument. Back row: Joseph Long, Kyle Van Gorkom, Laird Close, Jared Males; Front row: Maggie Kautz, Alex Hedglen.

In honor of Kyle’s Eye of Sauron, “Ring of Fire” by Johnny Cash is MagAO-X’s Song of the Day.