MAPS Jun. 2024A Night 7: Final day and night

Today was the last day of SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation 2024 and tonight was the last night of MAPS June 2024A.

Joseph gave a nice talk (second-to-last of the conference) with MagAO-X data:

Joseph Long giving a talk in the PSF reconstruction session.

Meanwhile at the MMT we tested our previous CACAO calibration, took a new one in better seeing, practiced both Bianca and Lauren running CACAO, and were in the process of more testing when we had to close the dome due to high winds. We waited around until finally calling it a night and a run around 2:30am when the winds continued rising and the clouds came up too.

Here’s our pretty good CACAO loop with 50 modes.

We keep asking Tim and others from MMTO to explain the hexapod to us, but we still don’t understand some of the behavior we see. Last night we had the focus pushed to the limit (near +1600 um), even to the point where the LUT wanted to offload coma but couldn’t send it. So last night we tried starting over: We put the focus to +800 um, let the LUT run for a little while, and lo and behold we were way out of focus. As we focused by eye we ended up back near the limit, around +1600. Tonight, on the other hand, we’re around +700 um and we’re in focus. We asked Brian if the temperature correction is very different and it’s not — well it’s about 50 um different, but that’s not enough to account for the focus difference of around 800 um.

Thanks for a great conference and observing run all!

Full moon over Yokohama

The word of the night is 満月 (Mangetsu) which means full moon.

MAPS Jun. 2024A Night 6: Pupils, CACAO, and ARIES

Today/tonight Dan and Amali went down, Dan and Oli came up, and Craig and Oli went down. Oli brought up six (6) new negative lenses ranging from f=-100 to -1000mm to test the Vis WFS pupil focus. We took another image set with the current lens (f=-300mm) and then swapped it out for each of the other lenses to see the difference in pupil focus and pupil size/separation. Here is what we saw:

Negative lens test, in front of Vis WFS.

Result: The best are f=-200 & f=-300. Oli’s feeling is the best focal length is going to be around f=-250mm. That lens is not available but can be created by combining two lenses. Furthermore, there are other degrees of freedom that can be used to fine tune… namely the separations between the CCID75, CTL, and Pyramid. By adjusting those distances, the overall magnification (pupil size and separation) will change. This is a much more complicated alignment and is destructive since a move cannot be perfectly reversed. So we may try that another time.

Meanwhile we took some ARIES spectra, then went on to closing the CACAO loop with 50 modes and saving some ARIES images. Unfortunately the seeing was around 2-3” so these won’t be great, but it was also a really good practice session for Lauren and Bianca to run CACAO while Amali coached them remotely from Tucson.

There was a dust storm blowing over from New Mexico. Around 3:45am it got worse, and meanwhile the seeing had blown up to above 3” where we were unable to make much progress anyway, so it was time to close for the night. We have 1 more night but the forecast doesn’t look promising, so we shall see.

The word of the night is TEAMWORK. The MAPS team has done a great job this run covering the various tasks even though various people have had to come and go due to life circumstances. Thanks for the excellent teamwork, MAPS team!

MAPS Jun. 2024A Night 5: Vis WFS modes

Tonight we worked with the Vis WFS and got up to 50 modes we think. We also made the pupils rounder:

Left: “Centered Pupils” from a couple nights ago. Right: After new flattening and 50 modes tonight.

And at the start of the night we took some darks for Suresh to figure out the IR WFS camera:

Left: Uncovered. Right: Covered.

And we took some MLAT’s with different tuning parameters for Jess.

The word of the night is 霧 (kiri) which means fog. Kiri came up just at the end of the night.

MAPS Jun. 2024A Night 4: Closed due to high winds

We never opened the dome tonight, due to high winds. And in Yokohama it rained hard all day.

Manny went down and Dan came up.

Dan and Amali measured voltages on various pins of the SAPHIRA under Suresh’s guidance. Based on their measurement, the detector temperature matches what is observed by the cold head. So it is not a temperature issue and likely an electronics issue. The next step was to measure two separate voltages to ensure they are correct. They were all around 5V which is where they were supposed to be. Suresh is now crunching the data to see if it gives any other clues to the IR WFS behavior.

The word of the night is たいふう (Typhoon) because apparently all this rain in Yokohama today was actually a small typhoon.

MAPS Jun. 2024A Night 3: Pupil alignment

Tonight we worked more on alignment of the WFS pupils (both WFS’s). At the start of the night we attached a cardboard “knife edge” to the ASM so that we could compare the primary mirror and secondary mirror images.

MMT ASM hanging in the pre-twilight sky with a cardboard “knife edge” attached to posts.

Here’s the resulting image on the ZWO:

Top line is ASM knife edge; Bottom line is Primary Mirror cover knife edge.

And here’s the result on ARIES:

It’s flipped from ZWO here — top is Primary knife edge and bottom is ASM knife edge.

And here are the Vis pyramid pupils:

I think left: Primary, right: ASM knife edge.

Checking optics/focus: double knife edge test using primary mirror cover partially lowered and cardboard over ASM (mounted on posts). VIS: – Expectation: one edge would be sharper if said edge was closer to point of focus. – Observation: neither edge is sharp. Fall off on both edges is about 3 pixels on viswfs_pupils. – Assessment: Focal point is near primary, pupil plane inside topbox is somewhat correct.

Next we worked on the IR WFS. We could see the IR source on the SAPHIRA, but only just barely could see the white-light source, and when we went to a really bright and red star (Arcturus) we couldn’t see it. The dark counts were around 30,000 and looked normal (the full well depth is around 100,000), but when Suresh did an up-the-ramp test (which usually saturates after ~20 steps) it saturated after ~5 steps, and wasn’t enough steps to see if it was linear. So now we think either there is a thermal short or some thermal problem, or perhaps a readout/reset problem. TBD.

So we went back to Vis WFS alignment. Oli and Grant did some experiments changing the negative lens (first adjusting it, then removing it completely). Here is one result:

Vis WFS pupils. Top row: With neg lens. Bottom row: Without neg lens. Left: Filled pupil. Right: Knife edge primary.

We were closed for high winds from around 1:50am-3:30. During this time we put the negative lens back in. When we opened again we checked it out:

With Negative Lens — Before Removal (left) and After Re-Install (right)

We also tested going to a fainter (almost 7th mag) star and saw that we have plenty of photons on the CCID-75. Now with the winds close to our limit and having completed our engineering tests, the next thing is to get back to working on AO calibrations, but it was too close to dawn to get anywhere especially fighting the almost-limits-winds, so we called it a night.

Meanwhile at the conference there were great talks by Robin, Eden, and Jacob:

Word of the day: “Sumimasen” — excuse me.