Category Archives: Hardware

Getting ready for MagAO 2014B — spare Clio solid nitrogen pump

We’ve had a few meetings lately to prepare for our upcoming 2014B run in Oct–Dec. This will be our second regular science run, and our operations are becoming more smooth and efficient, so we are going to have a more streamlined personnel plan. It will also be our longest run yet (37 nights!).

We are laying in for spares and planning improvements in our operations. One spare Phil has gotten for Clio is a spare pump for pumping on the liquid nitrogen chamber in the dewar to bring the temperature of the detector from 77 K (liquid nitrogen) down to 55 K (solid nitrogen) by lowering the pressure. This spare pump is coming to us from the LBT where it used to be a vacuum pump, and while it is no longer strong enough to deliver a true vacuum, it is strong enough to lower the pressure to solidify the nitrogen in the dewar. It is a Leybold Oerlikon EcoDry M 30 Dry Piston Vacuum Pump.

New Clio pump technical info, from Phil:

The current Clio pump is specified to reach an ultimate vacuum of 5 Torr (7 mbar). This allows the solid N2 vessel to be at 50-51 K. We typically regulate ~5 K above this or 55 K. The new EcoDry pump has an achieved lab pressure of 0.11 Torr. This will put the solid vessel at ~42 K. This suggest we could regulate as low as 47 K on the detector.

Therefore, on this next run, we will explore new setpoints and the effect on detector performance. Thanks Phil!

Here are Laird and Kim (CAAO Project Specialist) working on shipping the spare Clio pump to LCO. It weighs ~130 lbs and is 50 cm long x 30 high x 30 cm wide, and uses 120 V AC. It will be quite at home in the pump room.

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MagAO Commissioning Day 9 – Nighttime Edition: Incorporating Clio

Today was a busy day, and we began splitting MagAO’ers into day and night crew.  See Derek’s awesome post for the bulk of the day’s tasks: aligning the CRO and ASM.

The next major happening was mounting Clio to the NAS.  Even though we didn’t play the theme from Top Gun as we did it (sorry Phil!), it was an exciting moment.  This is the first time our infrared camera officially met our optical camera and our AO system!  They are together at the telescope at last!

Clio, VisAO, W-unit, Nas, ASM, Clay: So happy together!

Here’s how it happened:

Removing Clio from the support cart with the crane — under PI Phil's watchful care

Attaching Clio to the NAS ring — under Phil's watchful care

Clio at the Nas, flanked by Phil and Katie

Left: Phil and Clio instrument. Right: Clio electronics rack and Phil.

Phil, Katie, and Laird then aligned Clio’s cold pupil stops to the ASM.

Heave-ho: Shimming Clio to align the cold stops

How's it look, Phil?

LCO crew were busy as always, making everything work smoothly for the run.  Here, Mauricio brings up LN2 to fill Clio’s dewar, and Pato optimizes the PID loop that rotates the Nas while the telescope tracks and slews:

Mauricio brings up LN2 to the Nas platform to fill the Clio dewar

Pato feels for vibrations as he optimizes the PID loop tracking and slewing the Nas rotater


Alfio: “What is this mirror cover?”
Laird: “Oh you’re so cute Alfio.”

Phil:  “I don’t lean on Clio.”

Phil:  “Used to be, we only had 1 actuator.”

Povilas: “Can 14 mm be considered a shim? That’s more like a structural member.”

Simone has a key to Galileo's house.

Katie: “Hey Jared, how’s it going with the CRO?”
Jared: “I dunno. It’s all in Italian.”

Jared: “The number of Illuminati asking me questions is daunting.” (That would be Simone Esposito himself, as well as suspected members Laird, Phil, and Armando — see our paper for more info.)



Jared: “I’m pretty sure I would throw myself off the catwalk if Armando thought it would help.

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Manny and Richard are on their way home. Clio2 survived shipping, and is ready for MagAO to send it some flat wavefronts.

The electronics rack for Clio2 fits, and doesn't vibrate (too much).

The last thing the guys did was train the LCO staff on how to keep Clio cold.

Manny Montoya briefing the LCO crew on Clio2 operations.

Some hands on training. The blue gloves keep your fingertips attached to your fingers - LN2 is cold!

The next MagAO detachment leaves Tucson today. We’re on our way.

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