The MagAO project hosted our Pre-Ship Review (PSR) last week at Arcetri Observatory in Florence. The purpose of this review was to ensure that lab work on the AO system is complete and that MagAO is ready to move to the telescope for on-sky commissioning.
Six external reviewers (4 in person and 2 by videocon) gave us their time and attention for 2 days in real time, as well as studying up beforehand and writing a report after the fact. The scope of their expertise covered subjects from large telescopes, commissioning AO systems, instrument development, logistical implementation, real-time software, and adaptive secondaries.
The review lasted 2 days and included presentations, discussions, and a demonstration of the AO system in the tower, controlled from the chem. lab. Topics included a description of the Magellan telescope, an overview of the MagAO project and instrument, the scientific justification, detailed technical descriptions of all subsystems, logistical considerations, and our plans for commissioning. The reviewers considered everything in detail and gave us a report in the format of Findings, Comments, and Recommendations.
The review went very well — the reviewers were extremely thorough and helpful. They included three requirements and four recommendations, as well as findings and comments. We are working to address the requirements identified by the panel, before we ship to Chile. Two have been addressed already this week, and the third is waiting for next week.
Here are some photos from the review:
The PSR panel visiting the solar tower lab during the review. The large black ring hanging from the ceiling, which we call 'The Nas', contains our wavefront sensor and the VisAO science camera. Below that are our electronics racks, which will actually mount on the side of The Nas at the telescope.
The MagAO PSR had lunch at Galileo's house. Galileo once walked this very balcony. This is our "album cover" shot.
A happy AO operator is a good AO operator. Katie Morzinski, MagAO's newest team member, operated the AO system for the PSR panel. On her screens you can see the 4 pyramid sensor pupils, the SDSS i' PSF, and a glimpse of our mirror status displays. In the background you can also catch a glimpse of the VisAO camera in action.
Alfio Puglisi explains some of the finer points of AO with pyramid sensors and adaptive secondaries, while Katie Morzinski and Jared Males concentrate on the loop.
At the after party in the MagAO home-away-from-home at Via Romana 89. The entire team celebrated a successful moment in the project after many years of 'blood sweat and tears'.
The MagAO PSR team celebrates the end of an intense 2 weeks. Speakers provided by Enrico "How many Watts RMS?" Pinna and music provided by Katie "Girl Bands" Morzinski.
The PI holds forth - toasting a job well done by the entire team. A beam of light descends down on him to mark the occasion.
The MagAO team, Magellan telescope experts, and Pre-Ship Review panel on the balcony at Galileo's house, inspired by a place where Galileo pointed his telescope to the heavens. Back row: Povilas Palunas, Al Conrad, Doug Miller, Jared Males, Ian Bryson, Marco Xompero, Runa Briguglio. Front row: Alfio Puglisi, Katie Morzinski, Simone Esposito, Carmelo Arcidiacono, Laird Close, Mark Chun