Closing Theo

(Backlog from November 7-8)

With all the telescope inserts installed, the bottom of Theo (our vacuum vessel/cryostat) is ready to close. On the top side, the half-wave plates need to be installed in their rotation mechanisms above the inserts. Then closing proceeds there as well.

To keep Theo cold, progressively colder nested layers of vapour-cooled shield are used. These get cooled by the vapour from boiling liquid helium (the vapour is still very cold), and are separated by vacuum and shiny multi-layer insulation. Installing the shield close-outs and insulation takes a lot of long and somewhat tedious labour. Plus lots of tape. The job was finished by a small team on the following day, while the rest of us took a Sunday off.

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