Palestine, Texas Day 9

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John using the oscilloscope to analyse PMT signals

The pre-flight testing continued on day 9 in Palestine.  John spent a good chunk of his time analyzing PMT (photomultiplier tube) signals on the oscilloscope.  John describes a PMT as a reverse light bulb.  More specifically, a PMT is a device that takes in light and in response emits signals that are then able to be read by the oscilloscope.  We wanted to see how precise the resolution of our energy reconstruction was using the tracker on the payload while comparing those results with the calorimeter previously used for LEE.

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Pierre-Simon and James bringing the shell back inside after the pressure leak test

The shell pressure leak test concluded today with results that weren’t immediately useful.  The drastic changes in the temperature here recently (9 °F earlier in the week and 60 °F when the test ended) meant the results had to be calibrated before being of much use.  That task was delegated to Sarah.  After her calculations, the test was deemed successful.

I continued my work fine tuning the website, adding pictures and videos, and working on this blog.  We finally upgraded to premium status on WordPress, and with that came hundreds of new themes to choose from for the website.  I had the pleasure of sifting through all of them in order to pick one.  Hours after beginning, we decided on our current theme called Opti.  I think it’s pretty good, gives a newspaper kind of feel.  While I did this, on the other side of the room James drew out schematics for flight cables.  Instead of doing with some CAD (computer aided design) software, he did it by hand.  James admitted that it would probably be easier for him to design his plans on his computer, but he had been doing it by hand for as long as he could remember and was comfortable doing it that way.  No need to fix what isn’t broken, I guess.

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Brian working on the smaller of the two AESOP data recorders.

While James worked on his schematics, Brian did some electronics work on one of the AESOP data recorder boxes.  He intended to make sure all the components worked together correctly.  Well this was all very entertaining, the best part of the day had to be our neighbor in the adjacent hangar, Chris, baking bread in our shared kitchen.  The aroma wafted in through the door all day and kept my mouth watering.  When the bread was done, he put it out on the table with a stick of butter and a knife for everyone to try.  It was soft, warm, and delicious.  Definitely worth coming in on a Saturday for.

-Matt Collins



Categories: Palestine, Texas

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