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NOTCam Status Report, Oct 1998

  • Oct 30th - On Wed Oct 28th, Niels Michaelson of IJAF/CUO and Colin Aspin visited Prototech AS in Bergen, NO to inspect the re-make of the NOTCam vaccuum vessel and define acceptance tests for it. A report on the result of the visit to Prototech is given here. The vessel has been re-made well and is close to meeting all vacuum requirements. After an overnight pumping we acheived a vacuum of 1.8x10^-6 mbars!
  • Unfortunately, NOTCam work has encountered some delays to the planned schedule. NOTCam telescope commissioning was planned for Sept 98 but due to problems with the construction of the large custom vacuum vessel, this has been delayed until Feb/Mar 99. Upon Lab testing of the vacuum vessel in Copenhagen, it was discovered to have several major problems which h required a re-make of much of the vessel itself. The re-make has now been completed and Colin Aspin and Niels Michaelson (of CUO) will visit Prototech AS in Bergen, NO in late Oct to (hopefully) accept the new vessel. It has so far passed its vacuum and leak testing at Prototech, fingers crossed for a successful acceptance test!
  • During integration work at CUO in June we successfully tested out the cold table assemblies incl. all (8) motorized units. Bearings on cold motors were changed and cold tested and almost all internal wiring from motorized unit to the electrical vacuum connectors was completed. Test cables for the motorized units were made and tested also. Progress was made on the array electronics and the motor control electronics were tested and found to work extremely well. Much work remains however, mostly related to the vacuum vessel. This work will continue at CUO once the vacuum vessel is delivered, hopefully in early Nov 98. It is anticipated that 6-8 weeks work remains at CUO before delivery of the instrument to La Palma for lab testing there and eventual telescope testing.
  • The design for the first generation grisms for NOTCam is almost complete and soon the drawings will be sent to Milton-Roy in the U.S.A. for quotations.
  • NOTCam has been advertised as available for 1 night runs performed by NOT staff for the next semester (Nov 98 deadline, semester 99A observing). We are optimistic that this initial observing phase will go ahead as planned.