Cryostat Integration

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!

Carolyn was really excited about the arrival of the stycast. It was shipped in this container of what looked like gold chunks, which was a little weird.

Getting the cryostat on the gondola was a bit of a challenge. The crane inside the hangar is too low relative to the gondola to lift the cryostat on top of the gondola. To get around this, we thought we could lift the gondola off the cart, lift the cryostat onto the gondola, and then put the gondola back on the cart. Unfortunately, the crane is too low to even lift the gondola while inside. We ended up rolling the gondola outside and using a different crane that’s out there.

The riggers trying to lift the gondola off the cart using the inside crane. I think this was their third and last attempt.
Because we were working outside on the runway / helicopter launch area, we had to wear bright colored vests (and hard hats are always necessary for lifting operations). McBride’s hard hat wouldn’t stay on, so he made a chin strap out of balloon tape.

Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the process of getting the cryostat on, as I was helping Carolyn and the riggers. First we had to lift the cryostat and attach the bottom shields. Then we lifted the cryostat onto the gondola and screwed it into place. It was great to have the riggers helping as well.

The cryostat is integrated! It’s inside the white shields on the top layer of the gondola (the hoses coming out are attached to the cryocooler). Carolyn was setting up the cryostat monitor.


Here are some other pictures from the past couple of days:

Before we got the cryostat on, Carolyn and Alex noticed that some of the connectors on the shields were missing some nuts. Here they are shaking out one of the (very heavy) shield pieces hoping that the missing nut would fall out.
I’m making a box to hold a raspberry pi (a tiny computer). The raspberry pi will read some extra temperature sensors, because we wanted to add more than we had room for in the flight computer. I’ve never machined a box before, so I was very proud of my first connector hole.
All of the connector holes in the raspberry pi box! I don’t think I’ll become a machinist any time soon….





1 thought on “Cryostat Integration

  1. Tycho Sleator says:

    I love the box you machined. The holes you made have such character!

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