Shields Up

This morning’s nerve-wracking installation of the shields went off without any apparent hitches, thankfully.  Alan, Zach, and I were able to work smoothly through a proceedure we’d developed last December which minimized the risk and the stress involved.  What I had not anticipated, however, was how challenging it would be to get the bottom shield pieces positioned correctly!  To minimized leakage of photons coming up from below the instrument, which are only background, we have to tile the three large bottom shield pieces seamlessly underneath the cryostat.  Geometrically, this essentially involved making three triangles meet point to point to point.  However, in this case the three triangles were extremely heavy, with their travel impeded by their securement bolts and the points of the triangle hidden by the cryostat!  I spent a frustrating afternoon shifting the shields around trying to line things up as best I could.

The bottom shields (plus a few side pieces) installed.

Not much clearance underneath!

Meanwhile, Jane, Alan, and Zach continued the ebay-side harnessing.  Steve wired one of the two battery boxes.  Tomorrow we should be done with harnessing and finish with the shield installation as well.

We’ve had an extremely windy few days here–bad weather for launching, were anyone ready to go.  We may have to wait awhile to fly…

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