Thursday, August 12, 2010

Never a dull moment!

Francois & James have been grafting away to get the stage for the Apogee camera all squared up & ready to go.  It'll be put on the tracker as soon as we're finished with the various alignment processes being conducted from up in the CCAS tower.

All the hardware from the SAC work's seriously cluttering up the place so the gang tried to persuade the tank-like installation platform to follow the NRS smiluator (which fortunately travels on wheels) to leave the loading bay.

There was nothing too elegant about the process until Sir Eben rode in on his trusty forklift & rescued the hardware in distress...

After lunch, software engineer Deon - eager to enroll in the local radio-control flying club - was presented with his first plane.  Although lacking some of the characteristic features of an aircraft, the attendant 1.4 kW prop-swinging device promises to compensate for most things...

Preliminary bench tests conducted in the kitchen indicate significant hair-drying potential at the very least!

Next, it was time to take down the primary mirror cover so that we could get back to our alignment work in the evening.

Nice to see that all the mirrors are still there!

The team made remarkably short work of the procedure.  Perhaps it should become part of the daily routine for the SALT Astronomer & SALT Operator on duty to remove & deploy the cover - the way observers on the small telescopes need to open & close their mirror covers every night? ;)

With the primary mirror available to us again, we lugged the alignment telescope & various other bits & pieces back up the CCAS tower & set about getting everything lined up.  Weather permitting, we hope to go on-sky sometime next week!

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