Friday, January 26, 2018

PFS Upgrade Series: Day 2, Taking Apart the Puzzle and Putting (Some of) It Back Together

This is part of a series of posts about upgrading an instrument at Las Campanas Observatory. If you want to start at the beginning, it's here.

I wanted to focus my post yesterday about moving PFS, but that was really only the first half of the day. During the rest of the day, Jeff, Steve, and I worked to disassemble the instrument into its component parts, beginning with taking off two of the sides and the top. I didn't get many pictures of that work because we were pretty focused, but today I snapped some photos of the parts we took out, as well as the new things we installed (mostly today). 

Above: PFS stopped of almost all component parts! Eeeps! Below: Old dewar, holding old CCD. 

Above: New dewar holding new CCD. So shiny and big (10kx10k!) Below: Pre-slit assembly, which holds the calibration units and our precious iodine cell (here we're looking at it face on, it's on the right inside the enclosure). The pre-slit assembly actually hangs outside the temperature-controlled enclosure (the big white box) of the instrument.

Above: Prism/grating mount, and hoist (see top of photo) we used to move it out of the instrument. That was also really nerve-wracking. Below: White side panel of instrument (insulation), and collimater/camera assembly (lenses and rods).

Above: New pre-slit assembly anchor, which goes inside the instrument/insulation. You can't tell from this photo but the left-most hole (three holes make a triangle) changed its shape in the new design to accommodate a new cable from the new detector. Below: New CCD camera mount, installed on optical table. In this photo, you can better see that left-most hole I mentioned. We don't have the CCD installed here, but a stand for a fancy-shmancy wavefront sensor instead. 

Above: Fancy-shmancy HASO wavefront sensor, now on its mount. We will be using this to optically align the camera assembly. Below: Pre-slit assembly re-installed on side of instrument (top black box). We also installed a new power supply unit (bottom, smaller black box). I tried to rivet one of the holes on the side of the enclosure to mount the new power supply, but my hand strength wasn't up to snuff. Instead I held things and handed them to Jeff.

Steve (left) and Jeff (right), working on setting up our optical alignment software and hardware. More on that tomorrow...

I am really starting to feel the physical effects of instrumentation work, at least this type. I'm not used to being on my feet all day! Good thing I like the people I'm working with (and they are so patient with me), and the food the chefs here cook for us is so yummy. :) 

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