Phoenix Commissioning Begins!

(Extracted from NOAO Newsletter No. 45, March 1996)

We have received a number of inquiries about using Phoenix in the fall semester. As discussed below, its sensitivity will clearly not be known until after the 31 March proposal deadline. Until first results are received there is neither a basis for writing proposals nor a basis for us to evaluate the merits of the proposals. For Phoenix we will have a special scheduling process for the fall 1996 semester. Several blocks of 2.1-m time will be set aside for Phoenix late in the semester. The Phoenix proposal deadline for the fall semester will be announced on the KPNO Web site, or you can be notified personally by sending e-mail to hinkle@noao.edu. Proposals for Phoenix received by the normal proposal deadline of 31 March will be held for this later scheduling session. All Phoenix proposals scheduled in fall 1996, will be shared risk.

At the time of the publication of this Newsletter, we are taking care of the final details for fitting together the Phoenix mechanical assemblies; e.g., holes are being drilled in the radiation shields for the detector wiring, mounting holes for the electronic boxes are being tapped into the mounting plate on the dewar, and temperature sensor diodes are being installed in the collimator. By the time this is printed, the entire mechanical assembly will have been disassembled, cleaned, and reassembled in the clean room for final installation in the dewar. Simultaneously, work has been proceeding on the electronics. The printed circuit cards have been received and populated, and the electronics boxes have been fabricated. The backplane and heat sink have just been received, and will be installed in the electronics box in the next week.

Phoenix dewar
Craig Danielson (Mechanical Technician) and Ken Hinkle (Phoenix Project Scientist) with the Phoenix dewar. The radiation shields and internal dewar supports are suspended by a crane over the dewar prior to being installed for a mechanical test fit of all the components.

Phoenix now appears on the telescope schedule. 1 April is the first night on a telescope, but no data will be taken. This 24 hour block on the 2.1-m is to check the mechanical fit of the instrument and mechanical interface units to the telescope. We will try out all the handling equipment, connect all the required cables and cooler lines, and exercise as many functions of the instrument as are possible without having the instrument cold. For the large instruments cooled with closed cycle coolers (COB, SQIID, Phoenix), the instrument must be moved from the standby cooling station to the telescope in less than one hour. For the Phoenix test fit night we will learn how to get Phoenix on the telescope in the required time.

Phoenix dewar
Ken Hinkle is shown with the Phoenix dewar. The stepper motors and closed cycle refrigerators have been installed on the outside of the dewar. Inside the dewar, the mounting surface for the foreoptics can be seen. On the mounting surface the filter/Lyot wheel and slit/CVF wheels are visible. The cabling visible in the dewar is for the wheel position sensors and the temperature sensors.

Extensive laboratory testing will be taking place in April after the mechanical fit run. First light is scheduled for 6-8 May. A second test run is scheduled in June. The major goal of these runs is system mechanical and optical testing. Assuming that no major problems are encountered, we should be able to produce sensitivity curves for the instrument by late June or early July. We are in the process of installing a Phoenix Web site available from the KPNO home page http://www.noao.edu/kpno/kpno.html. As calibration and test results are available, these, along with sample spectra, will be available on this Web site.

Phoenix Design Parameters
Telescope:2.1-m only for fall semester 1996
Wavelength range:1-5 um
Resolution:2 pixel R = 100,000
Slit widths:2 pixel = 0.74"
3 pixel = 1.10"
4 pixel = 1.46"
Slit length:1' = 170 pixels
Slit orientation:N-S, slit rotation not available with
Phoenix on the 2.1-m
Spectral coverage:1024 pixels in the dispersion direction
(no cross dispersion) = 0.0118 um at
2.3 um (22 cm^-1 at 4350 cm^-1)
Imaging mode:available for acquisition, fov = 1' diameter
Guiding:dichroic sends visible light to guide camera


Offset guider will not be available on the 2.1-m.

Ken Hinkle


Bonus Picture:

slit/CVF wheel
Slit/CVF wheel. The slit wheel contains a dark, a 54 micron pin hole, three 54 micron slits, three 81 micron slits, one 107 micron slit, a Lyot view hole, an open hole, and a hole with a + of 107 micron width. The slits have post slit lenses AR coated for optimum performance in the 1-2, 2-3, and 3-5 micron regions of the infrared. The CVF wheel contains CVFs for order sorting in the 1.5 to 4 micron region.


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