2020 Wanaka Balloon Campaign Canceled

The 2020 Wanaka balloon campaign was canceled this week. Everyone on the COSI team is sincerely thankful for the hard work and kind assistance we received from NASA and CSBF while preparing for the mission. We are proud of what we accomplished and are packing up the hangar knowing that we dedicated everything we had to this iteration of a great instrument.

Thank you to those who follow this blog. We wish the best of health to everyone in these trying times.

Integration

After only a week in Wanaka we have unpacked our supplies, successfully tested the proper functionality of each detector, checked our electronics readout, collected low-energy calibration data with Am-241, Co-57, and Ba-133, calibrated our shields, started setting up our power system, and installed our liquid cooling system.

Yesterday, we integrated the cryostat and shields into the gondola and are busy routing the constituent array of necessary power and signal cables. We’re assembling the aspect system for our GPS and will soon proceed with more detector checks, energy calibration data collection, another shields calibration to test performance while integrated, and more. In the near future we’ll perform polarization, depth, and cross-talk calibrations. We will also collect effective area data to study how much of the sky our detector can observe. It’s safe to say we will be busy working towards launch.

Fortunately, we have many people around helping. The current team is me, Brent, Carolyn, Hadar, Jarred, Jimmy, Judy, Nick, and Steve. Thanks to everyone’s hard work and important contributions from CSBF personnel, we’re steadily moving through our checklist.

A timelapse of integrating the cryostat. Thanks to Jarred for shooting and editing the video!

Post-integration posing in our Wanaka Airport hangar.