COSI will be rolling out tomorrow for our first launch attempt! The weather forecast looks marginal, but we wouldn’t want to miss a good day so we’ll be ready if it decides to improve. The science team will be showing up at 11:30pm to be ready for a gondola pick up at 1am. If the weather improves throughout the early morning hours then we’ll make it out to the flight line to start inflation around 7am for a launch around 8am.
We’ll keep you posted though Facebook and Twitter.
COSI had it’s compatibility test with CSBF last Wednesday. We had to wait for the excitement surrounding Warbirds to settle down and we needed a full day of good weather. The science team arrived at 5am to go through all of our checks to be ready for the gondola pick up by the launch vehicle at 8am. After hours of testing outside and only a few minor glitches we were happy to declare success by that evening. Continue reading
The New Zealand Air Force parked on the apron directly outside the doors of our hangar.
The tiny Wanaka Airport has been buzzing recently. Over the Easter long weekend they hosted the Warbirds Over Wanaka Airshow, which, from the view of our hangar right on the airport apron, was awesome. There were so many amazing planes and skillful pilots, and for many of us, it was our first airshow. We had the hangar doors open to the sunshine and excitement all weekend long and even though we were working most of the time, it was a lot of fun. Continue reading
Check out the Super Pressure Balloon blog written by Jeremy Eggers here with us in Wanaka!
I meant to update this a few days ago, but haven’t had a chance yet. It’s been an exciting week: we got the cryostat on the gondola and we have an almost fully built instrument! Continue reading
We keep getting delayed due to shipping, which is pretty frustrating. First, we had to wait to get the card cages sent from Berkeley. As soon as we got those last week, we thought there was nothing preventing us from getting the cryostat on the gondola. But that was before we noticed that our stycast (thermal epoxy) had dried out. We need the stycast to attach heaters and temperature sensors to the cryostat, the electronics boxes, and the gondola. Continue reading
On our first day here, some of us took a pact to take a day off every week: Sunday funday! (If the weather is bad one Sunday we can do a Monday funday instead – it still rhymes). Yesterday most of us hiked near the Rob Roy glacier and got some great views. Here are some pictures from the day. Continue reading
Not too much has happened this week. We’re still waiting for some of our card cages (the electronics that read out the detector signals) to get here from Berkeley. They got shipped separately from the rest of the instrument because we wanted to work with them during the month it took the container to get here. Once we get the card cages, we’ll be able to turn on the rest of the detectors, and start putting them on the gondola. Continue reading
Alan, Alex, Brent, McBride and I arrived in Wanaka yesterday afternoon. This was basically the first thing we saw:
Sorry to leave you all hanging for so long. It’s been a busy past year for COSI! And it’s about time that we caught you up on what we’ve been working on. Continue reading