First Flight for LINC-NIRVANA – Dismantling and Fit Checks
With a number of essential preparatory tests for the handling and shipping of LINC-NIRVANA the MPIA has seen exciting four days last week. After the dismantling and a number of essential preparatory tests for the handling and shipping a real highlight was the first "flight" of the instrument structure on a huge crane at an airy height.
Only a few weeks ago LINC-NIRVANA passed an important milestone, the successful completion of its "Preliminary Acceptance Europe" (Institute News). LINC-NIRVANA will be installed between the two 8.4m mirrors of the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) on top of Mount Graham in Arizona, USA. The device will deliver a relatively wide, diffraction limited field in the near infrared. Now LINC-NIRVANA withstood another important step on the way to its destination.
3. August 2015: The instrument was dismantled from its telescope simulator device in the MPIA integration hall, was hauled into the neighboring intergration hall and finally to the outside of the building – a delicate maneuver.
4. August 2015: Fit check of the instrument cover on the instrument using a large crane – because of its height, this check would not have been possible inside the building.
5. August 2015: The large crane lifting traverse for the whole instrument was assambled and the traverse adjusted.
6. August 2015: The interface plates between the instrument and the traverse were welded and the traverse was installed. Also the traverse was adjusted in order to balance the instrument structure. Finally a test flight of the instrument happened with the traverse hanging on the crane – see photo. The installation of the instrument at the telescope will see a quite similar flight.
At the end of each day the instrument structure was returned to the building. It is now ready to be packed in a special non-standard transport box and shipped early September. In the meantime the rest of the instrument (opto-mechanical systems, cryostat, tooling) is being packed into almost as many as 90 transport boxes which will be shipped over the Atlantic in nine 20-foot sea containers.