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9 December, 2000

Another great day! Well actually a great night too... On the evening of the 8th, all three of the SPARCLE team members went back to the Carpenters shop to align the SPT. In the image you can see a small laser on the top of the telescope. We put this on the casting seam of the scope to help align the actual tube. Once the tube was aligned then we could work on the Primary mirror.

Here you can see Von working on the detector module of the SPT. He is checking to make sure that the image from the telescope is focused on the detector. Using the laser to help line up the telescope sure made the job easier. What we didn't realize was that use of laser radiation outside of the designated science areas is a no, no. We had a visit from the South Pole Safety Officer. He checked the laser and then posted warnings on all of the doors into the shop area. Von will have to deal with a "near miss" report tomorrow.

During our laser alignment episode we had a visit from three DV's or Distinguished Visitors from the NSF (National Science Foundation) , including Christine Boesz the Inspector General of NSF. The DV's were here at Pole on a fact finding mission and to see how progress is going on the construction of the new station. It was nice to actually get to meet and talk to the folks who make programs like TEA possible.

The ninth was another busy day for the SPARCLE Team. Penny worked on setting up the now fixed and aligned SPT in her building and Von and I worked on getting the Blimp opperational. It is very important to get the Blimp up and running because two of the major experiments we are running are dependent on it.

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