Palestine, Texas Day 2

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Status of the hangar to start the day

The second day (a Saturday for crying out loud) in Palestine was a lot busier than the first day.  We had to fix the disorganized mess that we had left behind from the night before. You see, technically only half of the hangar we are stationed in belongs to us.  However, we were using the whole hangar because we simply needed space for all of our crates and boxes that had yet to be opened and have the equipment taken out of them.  We had time though. It was the weekend and Monday was MLK day, so the rest of CSBF was closed until at least Tuesday.  We had the long weekend to move all of our stuff to our half of the hangar, and we needed it.

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Preparing to lift the instrument with the crane

The main focus for the day was to unload and setup any equipment considered to be critical.  This included the precious payload, the lab stand it sits on, and the GSE (Ground Support Equipment) computers.  As expected, almost nothing ran smoothly.  We built the lab stand incorrectly the first time and had to rebuild it.  We successfully placed the instrument onto the lab stand without any issues (probably because a guy from the rigging crew used the overhead crane to help us), but that was the end of our luck.  Once the GSE computers were setup to read data from the detectors, testing of the instruments began.  Immediately, there was a problem.

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Lowing the instrument onto the stand using the crane

Tracker 5 was not working properly even though it had been working perfectly before shipping.  Suspiciously, the problem went away after what was essentially playing around with the connecting cables.  The actual solution was unknown, and an unknown solution is just another problem.  At the time of writing, the team is still trying to figure out what the real problem and solution were.

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Struggling to figure out what went wrong with tracker 5

It was almost 3 pm though, so we left for the day.  Why? Not because 3 pm is the standard time to leave work on a Saturday, but because it was the Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs and the first game of the day, Eagles vs Falcons, was about to kickoff.  Since Brian is an Eagles fan, it was a must watch game for us.  Therefore, Brian, Pierre-Simon, and myself headed to the local Applebee’s to witness America’s favorite sport.  The Eagles won, but the important “game” was later in the day.  Brian, Pierre-Simon, Sarah, and myself gathered around the TV, in my apartment, beers in hand, to watch my Patriots trounce the Titans 35-14.  It was a great way to end the day.

-Matt Collins



Categories: Palestine, Texas

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