Tuesday, June 2, 2009

We're baaaack!

Drove back up yesterday admiring the Hex River valley's autumn colours & first snow of the season...

& a classic Karoo scene: a person idly waving a small red flag at the side of the road for no apparent reason. A bit further on, another one. Then around a sharp corner one promptly discovers the huge flock of sheep they were alluding to - OH, Right!

The mechanical chaps set about trying to stabilize the jittering fringes we were getting with the interferometer. The pneumatic isolators were tuned up & a wooden strut bracing the interferometer against the simulator super-structure succeeded in eliminating the offending mode. A more elegant solution will follow soon...

Next it was time to remove the CGH so that the M4/M5 wavefront test gear could go back into the hole in M3.

The little baffle suspended between M2 & M3 (aka Blackbeard's Patch) also had to come out before the long tube could be pushed up into place.

With the M4/M5 wavefront test ready to go again, Darragh could at last get back to some artificial observational astronomy - chasing pinhole images around to characterise the system before the M4 interventions scheduled for tomorrow...

2 years since his last IQ-related visit, we're joined by the chief engineer from SALT North for the next 2 weeks - welcome back John!

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