2005-06 Summer Photos - DSL/BICEP continued

hoisting the cryostat housing

After unpacking and assembling the cryostat housing, it was hoisted in preparation for inserting the optics and insert from below (CC).
ready to lower the housing onto the optics and insert

Getting ready to lower the housing onto the optics/insert. Not a lot of clearance; note that the stool has been shortened (CC).
first LHE transfer

Next came the first liquid helium fill...to cool things off a bit and check for leaks and other issues (CC).
installing the brush seal on the roof
Up on the roof, Yuki installed the brush seal around the opening. He's under a blue tarp which provides a nice blue glow (YT).
installing the environmental seal

On top of that and covering the telescope mount is this flexible blue environmental seal (CC).
roof seal
Like so! Here's Yuki posing next to it (JK) (APL).
partially assembled ground shield
Another piece of the puzzle...the partially assembled ground shield. (YT).
The BICEP ground shield installed
And a few days later, it was complete...and the blue boot was adjusted and reinstalled (YT) (APL).
roof view of installed ground shield
Here's what it looked like from the roof(CW) (APL).
preparing to install the cryostat into the mount

19 December, time to install the cryostat into the telescope mount. First...Ki Won unhooks the hoses (CC).
assembling the mounting frame

Assembling the cryostat loading frame (CC).
positioning the cryostat above the loader
Positioning the cryostat above the loader (CC).
looking up at the mount as the cryostat is raised
Looking up the mount (CC).
hoisting the cryostat

Starting to hoist away...(CC).
moving up
Up it goes. (CC).
cryostat lifting
Closer to the opening...(CC).
looking down through the roof opening
Looking down through the roof opening (CC).
almost in place
Denis Barkats working the hoist...it's almost there (CC).
installation complete
Finished (CC)!
calibration mast erected
Next step...installing a calibration mast...it would be adjusted more than once (CC).
working on the BICEP calibration mast
Some of the mast adjustments and modifications (CC).
the telescope forebaffle
The last (visible) addition--the forebaffle is mounted on top of the environmental seal (DB)!

The forebaffle installation was the last major visible bit of work on BICEP, but of course the setup and testing would continue...the first astronomical light was achieved on 15 January 2006 (on Eta Carina), and CMB mapping began a month later. After the first winter of operation, it was upgraded during the 2006-07 summer; it then remained cold and operated without interruption until the completion of operations in December 2008. (It was then upgraded to BICEP2 during the 2009-10 summer; this instrument was operated until December 2012).

telescope diagram

The above diagram is from the paper "CMB polarimetry with BICEP: instrument characterization, calibration, and performance" (2008) by Yuki Takahashi et al. Other relevant papers (also used for reference here) include "The Robinson Gravitational Wave Background Telescope (BICEP): a bolometric large angular scale CMB polarimeter" (2006) by Ki Won Yoon et al; and "Measurement of the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization with the Bicep Telescope at the South Pole" (2010 PhD dissertation) by Yuki D. Takahashi.

Here's the original project web site from Caltech, the prime collaborator, as well as a newer information page. Also of interest is this January 2007 Antarctic Sun article.

Photo credits and thanks to: (YT) Yuki Takahashi (archive page); (CC) Hsin Cynthia Chiang; (KWY) Ki Won Yoon; (CW) Carlton Walker; (JK) John Kovac; (DB) Denis Barkats. Photos labeled (APL) are from the Antarctic Photo Library.

Nearby, at the other end of DSL, the South Pole Telescope was starting to happen....

construction photo index | aerial photo index