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  1. SED Machine First Light Achieved

    This blog post is past due! SED Machine achieved first light on 19 June 2013.

    SED Machine Team Members operating the Instrument
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  2. SED Machine on the Dome Floor

    Last night the SED Machine was delivered to the Palomar 60-inch telescope.

    SED Machine on the Palomar 60-inch telescope dome floor.

    The instrument arrived safely, and basic verification tests show in-focus spectra and images. In short, SED Machine is ready for observations.

    First light is in two nights.

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  3. Moving Forward

    SED Machine has had its second "first light" and this time with a lot more success. Image quality is as uniformly excellent, with pupil images formed that are clean and sharp! The images in general look as predicted by zemax, which is great news.

    First light is now three weeks away.

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  4. Debonding Sylgard-184

    I accidentally bonded the achromatic camera 1/2 doublet in backwards. Camera 1 is a biconvex lens with a slightly different radius on side 1 than side 2. Yes, I _thought_ that I took all precautions: I compared the radius of surfaces by eye, and I also saw interference fringes from the matched ROCs of both elements. In retrospect, I should have marked both lenses so that during the application of the PDMS (aka Sylgard 184) I would not be able to make this mistake.

    Never-the-less both camera 1/2 were bonded incorrectly. The project cannot continue in a meaningful way until this problem is solved. I have now decided on taking two simultaneous forward paths and will use the path that will produce results faster. The most promising path, at this point, is to attempt to debond the doublet. Here I'll use toluene which turns out to stretch the sylgard-184 and cause it to delaminate.

    Thus, the next week and a half are now dedicated to fixing this problem. First light is six weeks away.

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