With the building complete, the time had come to install the telescope. Arriving early on a Wednesday morning, whole crews of people came to be a part of the event: the crane operator, the contractor, architect, videographers, students and more! It is not often that one gets to see such a large telescope lowered onto its pier using a crane. Below is a photo journal of that day’s events as well as the following day during which PlaneWave’s engineer, Matt Dieterich, and I spent the day wiring the systems and testing the electronics.
Brian Carmody and Matt Dieterich begin the initial inspection of the dome and pier prior to getting the installation started.
The CDK700 telescope arrives on a flatbed from the storage facility. The crane and operator has already arrived, so things are about to get busy!
The various telescope components were then uncrated while on the truck.
Tethering the telescope’s mount and primary mirror assembly to be hoisted. It was at about this point that everyone’s heart rate went up a little!
The telescope is now airborne, taking a short ride from the truck to the pier within the dome.
With some serious expertise, the telescope was guided gently to the dome.
The telescope being lowered through the dome’s shutter. While Matt (and everyone) looks on.
The sunrise continues while the telescope is gently lowered to the three bolts that will hold it onto the pier.
Slowly, slowly, slowly. Using tag lines, the telescope is kept from swaying or rotating as it is lowered into the dome.
The telescope had to be lowered onto the three pier bolts. Tolerances were to the millimeter!
The telescope’s mount holes aligned perfectly with the pier bolts. Everyone breathed a sigh of relief at the exact moment when the scope landed onto the levelling bolts.
Now it was time to repeat this whole process with the secondary mirror cage and assembly.
The secondary mirror arrives in place and is bolted to the telescope.
Next to install was the telescope’s control system which feeds power, reads encoders and sends commands back and forth through a neat intranet system.
The many components within the control box.
Using a laser mounted onto one of the two Nasmyth focal points, Matt begins initial collimation of the three mirrors. The corrected Dall-Kirkham optical design uses an elliptical primary, a spherical secondary and a flat tertiary mirror.
The many wires routed from the telescope’s interior, to the control box and to the control room computer.
Those same wires, this time a view from the base of the telescope mount. Within the mount are USB hubs, power supplies, and encoder systems. All must be wired correctly to allow proper control and to prevent twisting as the telescope moves in azimuth.
The primary instrument will be an FLI CCD imager with a 10-place filter wheel, seen here at focal port #1 attached to the electronic focuser/de-rotator. All of these components are remotely controlled.
Brian, Matt and John: three happy and very tired telescope installers. The end of two days of work. Next steps? Clear skies to collimate and focus the telescope then build a pointing model.