• We had a failure of the X/Y stage that holds the guider, and those parts have been sent to the manufacturer for service. They should be back sometime in January. That doesn’t prevent operation, but we can’t work on the autoguiding software development until these parts return.
  • The Princeton Instruments Pixis camera is still out for repairs. The main board and TEC cooler are being replaced. In addition, the length of the camera is being shorted so it can accommodate the pickoff mirror for guiding in the imaging setup. We are also switching it from water-cooled to air-cooled; the cooling unit failure was a consequence of a failure in the water circulator. We want to prevent that from happening again, as it’s an expensive repair. We will use a fan to make sure waste heat does not get into the optical path. This does prevent operation until the repair is completed. (We have other cameras, but they are research-oriented, and not really useful for imaging purposes. The Pixis is ultra-low noise, and is ideal for imaging.)
  • The replacement secondary mirror is continuing to progress – the blank should be ready this month or next, and we will be putting out bids for polishing the blank this month.