Gemini Near-Infrared Integral-Field Spectrograph (NIFS)

Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics    AUSPACE Ltd. Institute for Astronomy

First Cooldown With Mechanisms: May 2002

NIFS was reassembled for its first mechanisms test in May 2002. The vacuum pump was switched on on Friday May 31. The cryostat temperatures took 90 hours to stabilize to 50 K. Initial impressions were that all mechanisms were operating correctly. This is the first time that all the mechanisms have been tested together with an integrated software system.

Once cold, the mechanisms were extensively tested using command scripts. Overall performance is satisfactory. However, a few issues have been identified.

Cold work surface plate being inserted in the NIFS cryostat.

Cryostat center section in the RSAA clean room.

Bob Miles working on the cryostat center section.

Radiation shields in cryostat center section.

Cryocoolers in cryostat.

Cryostat and lifting equipment.

Focal plane unit being assembled.

Focal plane unit being assembled.

Bob Miles assembling the OIWFS optable.

OIWFS optable in clean room.

Spectrograph side of cryostat.

Spectrograph side of cryostat.

Focal plane unit in cryostat.

Cryostat wiring.

Bob Miles and Col Vest looking for that screw.

Bob Miles and Col Vest again.

And again...

Bob Miles and Col Vest with the cryostat end section.

Preparing the cryostat end section.

Nearly there...

The last piece goes on the OIWFS side.

Spectrograph camera and grating turret in cryostat.

Spectrograph camera and detector housing in cryostat.

Wiring the spectrograph mechanisms.

Detector housing in cryostat.

More spectrograph spaghetti.

Detector housing removed from support structure.

Spectrograph skirt and cover.


Peter Conroy starting the vacuum pump.

Cool down temperatures.

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