Palestine, Texas Day 18

Today, day 18 in Palestine, is my last day reporting to the hangar. Tomorrow I fly back to Delaware to prepare for my classes that start next week. That means this will be my last blog entry. Sarah will take over the blog in my absence. Since I really don’t want to write an entry at the airport tomorrow, I will keep a live feed of sorts that I will try to update throughout the day.

9:30 am – Brian and I arrive to John, Paul, and James already at work. Pierre-Simon and Sarah arrive immediately after.

10:00 am – I test GSE 3 and 4 again, still no data stream coming through; I hand the task over to Brian because this issue was unexpected and he has more experience in this field. James is working on flight cables. Sarah is coding software tools, as is Paul.

10:15 am – Pierre-Simon noticed something weird with our data from the PHA calibration we did two days ago. Specifically, the numbers from the auxiliary board don’t look right. We begin re-testing the auxiliary board.

11:15 am – it looks like the auxiliary board or has a lower gain than the rest of the boards. The numbers are still linear, but on a different scale. Pierre-Simon is analyzed the data we acquired to confirm. After, he began analyzing the data from last night’s run. He’s letting out groans of despair occasionally, that’s how I know it’s not looking good. Brian is still troubleshooting the data stream for GSE 3 and 4.


John, Paul, and Pierre-Simon mid-discussion

12:30 pm – It’s almost time for lunch and my stomach knows it. James is still doing work on flight cables. Pierre-Simon, Paul, and John are testing the PMT of the LEE calorimeter using the oscilloscope. They are not getting the exact results they expected and are discussing why that is and how they can amend it. Brian has GSE 3 correctly receiving the data stream, but not GSE 4.

1:30 pm – Brian, Pierre-Simon, James, Sarah and I went to Taqueria San Luis for lunch in Bread Baker Chris’s recommendation. Easily best Mexican food we’ve had while down here.

3:00 pm – Pierre-Simon, Sarah, and I rummaged through the sea crate to find Jame’s Raspberry Pi that we slipped our minds while unpacking.  While we did this, he worked on flight cables.

4:30 pm – Pierre-Simon is improving the Monte Carlo simulation of the strips detector that Sarah worked on.  Brian finally got a data stream flowing through GSE 4, but his work with it is not done.  James is still working on flight cables.  Paul installed another round of custom upgrades to MIPFlit.


Sarah and I making tubing

5:15 pm – I helped Sarah set up tubing on the altimeters so that the pressure leak rate of the instrument can be monitored and tested in flight.  Paul began the process of installing Visual Basic to our spare computer.

6:30 pm – Brian gave me a short Netcat tutorial to set the port forward.  End day.

-Matt Collins

Categories: Palestine, Texas

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