WIYN Observatory


ODI News Roundup: August 2014

ODI has come off the telescope this summer to make room for this summer's WIYN mirror aluminizing. ODI is currently stowed at the new Kitt Peak instrument handling facility, and we are using this opportunity to perform general maintenance tasks on the instrument. The most pressing task is to replace worn out gears in the filter drive mechanism, but we are also cleaning all optical surfaces and servicing the cold heads on the dewar. ODI will go back to the telescope at the end of August and will be back in science operations with the start of the semester in early September.

ODI in the Kitt Peak Instrument Handling Facility

As the yearly replacement of the filter drive's gears is not supportable in the long-term, we have teamed up with Mike Smith (UW), Dustin Mason (UW) and Shelby Gott (NOAO) to rebuild the drive mechanics for the ODI filter arms. The current, problematic worm gears are to be replaced with a chain drive mechanism that causes less friction and wear. A prototype was recently demonstrated to work at UW Madison, and we are now moving towards detailed optimization, followed by endurance testing to simulate three years of operations.

Prototype of revised chain drive mechanism for the ODI filter arms. In lieu of an actual filter, a dummy weight is used to simulate the load on the drive mechanism.

In the meantime, planning proceeds to add more detectors to ODI's focal plane early next year; the goal is to expand the usable science field of view from the current 24' x 24' to 40' x 40'. We will post updates once the upgrade project is under way.

NSF University of Wisconsin Indiana University University of Missouri Purdue University

Last modified: 23-Sep-2015 14:37:14 MST