Tuesday, July 21, 2009

More new bits!

Sutherland really cleans up beautifully after a good storm... From the SW corner of the plateau you can see 13 of the 14 telescopes up here. Only tiny SLODAR manages to hide behind MoNet & SALT lurks unimpressively in the background...

After struggling endlessly to get the alignment telescope to work - a clever new mount design was proposed. Manufacturing was completed today & Darragh spent the evening getting acquainted with the new gear.

Here's the new assembly on top of the super-structure platform, it looks down via a fold mirror.

Part of the plan for aligning M5 to M2 is to view an alignment target, positioned just below the hole in M5, with the alignment telescope up on the platform. For now, this target's held in place by the tube from the M4/M5 test that used to hold the pinhole.

Later on in the process we'll need the pinhole for the M4/M5 test & so the target won't be able to sit where it is now. An elaborate new target carrier that will be placed between M2 & M5 & locate within the hole in M2 was produced on the CNC machine in Cape Town.

The aluminium vanes in the delicate flexure system are only 0.5 mm thick!

Twilight on the plateau - another great night for the astronomers!

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