Instrument Cover and Transport / Installation Tests
During the week 5-8 August, the LN team executed some essential (and occasioally dramatic) tests of the instrument cover and hardware for transport and installation.
This slide show features some of the highlights of this four-day campaign. Consult the text below for further details.
The MPIA, Scholl, and Schenker teams
LINC-NIRVANA, recently removed from its flexure tester, awaits its first journey outside
The large forklift tows LINC-NIRVANA outside…
Pulled by a large forklift and guided by special rollers, LN arrives in the MPIA parking lot.
The dust cover making a soft landing on the LN optical bench.
First time at full height. LINC-NIRVANA and its dust cover are about 4 meters high.
Assembling the massive lifting traverse
The lifting traverse is the crane interface for the LINC-NIRVANA instrument
The traverse can lift 12 tonnes and has X-Y adjustment to ensure even balance
Carefully lowering the traverse into place. The clearance is only a few millimeters.
The traverse at its final location. At this point, the team began welding the interface plates to the blue steel base frame.
Welding the interface plates at the exact location where the traverse fits.
Welding complete...Ready for Lift-Off!
The team makes final preparations for the lift.
LIFT-OFF! LINC-NIRVANA floats 50 cm above the parking lot.
Now 3 meters...This looks like fun!
This is no longer fun...This is just showing off...
Afternoon sunlight glints off the airborne LINC-NIRVANA. Clearly built to explore the skies...
Day 3 and it is time to install and test the large instrument rollers.
With the steerable rollers in place, it is easy to move the 10-tonne instrument where it is needed.
At the end of a successful week, LINC-NIRVANA rolls on its new wheels back to the integration hall.
The LINC-NIRVANA warm optics occupy what is essentially a large (11 square meter) optical bench located approximately 2.5 meters above the instrument platform. In order to protect its sensitive components, LN has a large dust cover that will be integrated with the main instrument at LBT. In preparation for that, and because the instrument is too large for MPIA facilities, the team did a fit check of the cover to the bench using a mobile crane.
Making the journey from the mountain lab to the telescope itself may be perilous. The clearance between LN and the walls of the hatch to the telescope chamber is only 20 mm. To execute this
delicate maneuver, the team designed a custom lifting traverse that allows exquisite control of the center of balance, yet does not increase the instrument envelope. To ensure a perfect fit, welding of the interface plates took place with the traverse assembled and in position.
With a total weight approaching 10 tonnes, LINC-NIRVANA must be manipulated with a high-capacity crane. There are three such cranes at LBT: in the mountain lab, high bay, and telescope chamber. Unfortunately, the "footprints" of these cranes do not overlap, and we must roll the instrument from place to place within the fixed enclosure. To accomplish this (and to avoid floor damage), the team has procured large, solid rubber, steerable rollers. However (and as has often happened), the MPIA building and internal crane were too small to integrate and test the rollers indoors. The cover and lifting traverse tests provided the ideal opportunity to verify the rollers as well.
Click here to see a short movie of the flight.
Site manager: Tom Herbst
13 August 2015