MAPS May 2024A Night 2: MIRAC

Conditions were great tonight — clear, not too windy, and seeing around 0.8” (definitely usable).

Also I updated yesterday’s post with some pictures and a song of the day.

Tonight was the second MIRAC night and the instrument had finished cooling and was nice and cold, so Jarron got to taking data! Unfortunately he had a vignetted pupil again (but differently from last time) but he still got a lot of good throughput and sensitivity measurements.

Meanwhile on the AO side we worked on trying to align our vignetted pupil with the periscope, and also tested the IR camera lens, and took data to calibrate the IR camera lens loop.

Here’s our vignetted AO pupil. [Image description: Two monitors with instrument displays and GUIs. Top left camera display shows the ZWO image. A crescent pupil can be seen. It should look like the telescope pupil.]
This one is a little better. The pupil image looks mostly like the telescope pupil! [Image description: Same monitors, GUIs, and image displays. The top left display shows a mostly-filled pupil image. To the right of it is a bright blob which is the star in the focal plane. Peeking in on the right is a third monitor where you can just see the pyramid pupils — 4 pupil images instead of just 1.]

Also we spent some time with MMTO staff (Ben and Tim) in the first half working on getting the hexapod offsets to point to the rotational center of the telescope. This involved rotating the instrument rotator, measuring the arc on MIRAC, and shifting the hexapod to point there.

By the way, I forgot to mention that we also found ASM contamination yesterday. It was a hard blockage about 160 microns tall. After the contamination removal procedure by Manny, Amali, and Dan, it got down to 60-80 microns, which was workable.

ASM display, after Amali flipped it so that it matches the coordinates when you’re up on the scissor lift facing the ASM. Contamination is at 5:00. [Image description: 3 circles (the ASM at different measurements) with 336 little circles (the actuators) of different colors to represent the actuator currents, heights, and temperatures. A slight raised color table in an almost pie-shaped wedge at 5:00 is the contamination.]

The best 15 minutes of the day were when, after I woke up early (around 7am), I was reading and grew sleepy again, and realized I was about to get my second sleep! Very important for successfully shifting to a night schedule!

Song of the night: “Oops I Did It Again” by Britney Spears (2000)