> Hi everyone, 
> With just one week to go 'till station closing, its time for a second 
> update: 
> We installed SPARO about two weeks ago (see attached photo). 
> A few days later we scanned the Moon in R.A. at five different 
> focus settings and thus established the focus to 
> within about (1/4) inch.  The best focus is attached.  (can you tell phase?) 
> We've now mapped RCW57 a lot, and started polarimetry of this source 
> today.  One map, with gaussian fit, is attached.  The beam is smaller 
> than I've ever seen for SPARO.  Note RCW 57 is a somewhat extended 
> source.   Also have observed RCW 57 through a polarizing grid, which 
> gives P~100% as expected. 
> The chopper has been working flawlessly, but we nevertheless replaced 
> limit switches per Bill's advice.  The telescope motion has been 
> nearly flawless - one snowy day it tripped its breakers a lot.  The heater 
> system is now keeping everything at exactly the right temperature.  This 
> has taken some work - Martin has been coding and downloading in Berkeley 
> in the early AM when the satelite is up, and Mark noticed and fixed some 
> dangerous bad electrical connections at the back of the mirror 
> heater system that were causing trouble.  but now all is good, except 
> for one thing which is that the heater system's emergency notification 
> system still doesn't work.  But I think soon we will have this also working. 
> Rebuilding the software systems we had in 2000 has been a challenge but 
> Bob and Matt here at Pole and Greg in Virginia have finished this job. 
> Acquisition and quick-look analysis working really well.  Real-time 
> pointing model still untested, but hope to get to that soon. 
> We originally had two solutions in mind for the capillary-flow induced 
> microphonics problem.  One was to try to partially plug the capillary 
> so as to put us back to the low-flow/low-microphonics configuration that we 
> had in winter 2000.  The other was to stop pumping on the pumped pot 
> except during cycles.  We adopted the second solution after 
> verifying that the rise in detector temperature was modest, 
> and the resulting loss is sensitivity is small and probably offset 
> by the better duty cycle (e.g. faster cycles, faster telescope 
> moves). 
> Winter-over training has been going well.  Paolo has been doing all fills 
> and cycles for quite some time now.  Yesterday, we turned 
> all power off to everything in the control room (except control, our mail 
> server).  Then we asked Paolo to find and map RCW 57, and we 
> all went away.  Paolo succeeded, for which he modestly 
> gives the credit to our recent hasty efforts at documentation. 
> (see acbar.spole.gov - user acbar - password *******) 
> one job we have left is to retune the telescope servo.  after thinking it 
> over we have decided to go back to the servo settings used last winter 
> rather than the ones Bill put in a few weeks ago.  we have had a few 
> minor problems tracking and are worried it could get worse in winter. 
> we hope to make this change real soon. 
> we also have lots of little upgrades and modifications that we are working 
> on (see attached job list).  we are about half-way done with these. 
> the American Tern, with the 15,000 gallons of liquid Helium we need, 
> has been sitting 25 miles from McMurdo for a week.  the problem is broken 
> up sea ice that has not blown out as hoped.  the Polar Sea icebreaker 
> is damaged and apparently not helpful to us.  The Healy (another 
> icebreaker) is on the way, and we are being told that they expect 
> docking this weekend, and Helium transfers at McMurdo to begin 
> Monday.  The last thing Vladimir Papitashvili told us at the SPARO 
> outbrief before he left was that "of course the South Pole must remain open 
> until Helium arrives".  I like that attitude in our NSF program manager but 
> of course nature (in the form of ice at McMurdo and potentially dropping 
> temps 
> at Pole) can be a formidable foe.  Keep your fingers crossed. 
> Bob L. leaves Monday, Bob P. Wednesday, and Matt, Mark, Hua-bai 
> and I will be staying through Friday. 
> That is all, 
> Giles 
SPARO installation (small image)
SPARO installation (big image)
Moon scan
Map of RCW 57
Task List