Thursday, February 18, 2010
Mirror Support Update
I have been remiss by not updating on the big mirror support engineering run which has been going on since January 25. I am happy to report that the work is proceeding ahead of schedule. All of the 35 mirror supports have been removed, refurbished and re-installed on the telescope.
There is a period of adjustment on the supports that is taking place now. The dome and telescope will soon begin its cool down phase so that we can test and adjust with the telescope on sky.
Here are a few photos from the last couple of weeks to help illustrate some of the work that has been taking place.
Two members of the Palomar day crew working on the hydraulic ram just underneath the Hale Telescope's mirror cell.
Removing the last portion of support R3 with support N3 in front of it.
Here are just a few of the more than 1,400 bearings that were replaced as a part of this project.
Essentially each and every part for each of the telescope's 36 mirror supports is unique. Notice how the part above is stamped with which support it is a part of (R3), but also other identifying information to show exactly where it goes on the support.
One of the primary reasons the crew is ahead of schedule is due to the detailed planning that went into the project. Each member of the crew had detailed procedures and checklists to follow.
Here is a single mirror support, completed and ready for its re-installation in the telescope. The three primary parts of a support are the lever arm assembly (left), the gimbal unit (back) and stem (right).