April 27, 2017 - Further progress has been made on the Spanish pier. Both azimuth supports are now in place on the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA), and the main connecting I-beam known as the "keel" has been attached between them. The orange banks of capacitors were pre-installed on the keel beam prior to its attachment.
April 21, 2017 – Fabrication of the TMA continues in Spain. The large steel structural components that make up the azimuth assembly are painted and undergoing installation on the Spanish pier. A previous post explained the duplicate Spanish pier will be used to support the trial assembly and testing of the TMA prior to its demolition and subsequent reinstallation of the TMA on site in Chile.
The elevation drive arc, which was machined in March, recently underwent test fitting of aluminum surrogate motor magnets. Meanwhile, the motor magnets have been installed in the azimuth track and covered with plywood to keep them from attracting metal fragments during the assembly process. During operation, the motor magnets in the azimuth and elevation assemblies will allow the telescope to rotate smoothly and quietly on both axes.
The two azimuth supports were inspected and coated this month; one has been lifted into place and positioned, and the second support is awaiting installation. The enormous scale of the TMA is hard to represent in photos; for perspective, the “small” box you can see behind the azimuth assembly in the photo below is actually an office with space for several employees!
Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.
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