2016A Day 3: Loop is closed

Today was a 7am breakfast to 7am dawn kind of day. Mario Matteo and his team finished their M2FS run with some calibrations, Juan and the crew pulled M2FS and the f/11, Juan et al. installed our NAS and ASM, we cabled the ASM and NAS, and finally we went on sky, closed the loop, Povilas et al. tested the guider, and we tried out the eyepiece as well as VisAO extragalactic observations. It was a very good, very long day!

The long road to MagAO.

Here are Pato and the crew helping Laird and I cable the ASM — it involves laying cables in the tray along the spider — you can see it in the Clio pupil images, this spider is a bit thicker with all the electronics, communications, and cooling lines we have to run to our ASM:

Pato and the crew helping Laird and I cable the ASM.

The new VisAO field stop designed by UA/MagAO grad student Ya-Lin Wu has been deployed:

The VisAO field stop has been deployed – it works!

And here we are doing some extragalactic AO at 4am in the control room:

The high-contrast imaging team doing extragalactic AO at the end of a 24-hour-long-day

Laird and I saw a hawk in a tree

Song of the day:

2016A Day 2: Clio’s so cool

I feel so much better after getting 8 hours of sleep in a bed! That red-eye is brutal. But now I’ve had a full day of good food after good sleep, Clio is chilling, and things are good. Today…

…I cooled Clio with Victor’s help:

What Clio did today

…Jared and Laird worked on the NAS and Laird moved the ASM:

What MagAO did today

…Truly Nolen killed all the things:

Chao Cucarachas

…Jared plugged in the radios because now that we are here he has someone to talk to:


I’m really into this song:

2016A Day 1: This and That

Katie arrived safe and sound, just in time for dinner. During the day: more preparations, mostly working on our new toys. We installed the new field stop, but only after Laird drew all over it with a Sharpie.

Everyone here agrees that Sharpie does almost no good. But it must look like we did the right thing.

Oscar helped us countersink some bolts, and Laird tested out the mount for our new camera.

Our new super whamodyne electron multiplying CCD camera.
Clay getting ready for some M2FS observing.

I’ve been obsessing about read noise in our wavefront sensor camera. This isn’t a new thing, some of our most epic “sea stories” revolve around troubleshooting this camera. That was all solved a while ago, but now we are trying to get it running at 2000 Hz. So this song is about noise.

The fact that I can’t find a youtube entry of the album version of this song makes me feel “not fresh”.

2016A Day 0: Fresh On Arrival

Mark Phillips commented, upon seeing me at lunch, that us AOistas always look “so fresh when you get here.” That implies that he has seen me look “not fresh”. It’s fair.

Laird made it today, and Katie is in the air.

We’re hard at work getting ready. This time, we have also begun preparing for “MagAO-2K”. This is an NSF funded project which will improve performance of MagAO. You’ll be hearing lots more about it in the coming days, weeks, and months. For now, I’m working on getting our wavefront sensor camera tuned for running at 2000 frames per second. We’re also installing a new field stop stage for VisAO, and we have a new very high speed camera that we are going to use on this run to measure vibrations.

Here’s my first sunset picture of 2016A:

Sunset on the future

Today’s video is very astronomical, and even looks like it was filmed at a digital LCO. The coolest part, however, is the exploding GMT.

2016A Day -1: Already Back

Yep, it’s that time again. If you’re thinking we just left, you’re right. We just barely had more time at home than we usually spend here.

The drive up:

The burros tried to stop us on the drive up.

Some work got done:

Two towers have gone up on the GMT site. I hear they will be used for weather monitoring and to record the construction.
Thanks to Gabriel Martin, Clio is already pumping down.
We’re set up in the Aux.

It’s my turn to set the rules. We’re going back to basics. The only requirement is that any Day X post must have a song of the day, no other rules.