Awakening

With the major project of gondola assembly completed, today we worked on a variety of tasks in pairs or singles.  Most notably, Jane and Alan spent the day connecting and testing each of our ten “card cages”–the electronic boxes used to read out the detectors–in turn.  Because of the long sea shipment, we hadn’t been able to take data from the instrument in a month and a half, and we were anxious to see how it had fared over the long and bumpy journey.  Thankfully, the overall condition of the instrument is good.  There’s some new noise in one detector which will require troubleshooting, but we’re getting high voltage into and signals out of every detector.  It has been exciting starting up again, and occasion for some cheering.

Jane and Alan study the data.

Looking out the back door.

Our crackerjack mechanical crew, Jim and Zach, repaired the back door to the electronics bay in the morning and worked on assembling our new battery boxes in the afternoon.  Steve, despite feeling under the weather, was at work on assembling an electronic isolation box.  I did a little babysitting of the liquid nitrogen and prepared some equipment for installation in the gondola.

Working on the battery boxes.

The hangar is pretty clean, but it's hard to keep the grasshoppers out.

The helium for the balloons has arrived!

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