Luke Keller

Luke Keller

Dana Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Specialty:Astrophysics, airborne astronomy, spectroscopy, optical instrumentation, natural science general education
Phone:(607) 274-3966
Office:264 Ctr for Natural Sciences
Ithaca, NY 14850


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Preparing for astronomy with NASA's newest airborne observatory

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Posted by Luke Keller at 9:05PM   |  Add a comment
One of the electronics patch panels for interfacing instruments on SOFIA.

We repeated last night's tests of the FORCAST - TA interface, controlling the chopping secondary mirror. No noise! When we use the on-board power source, the return signal from the telescope responding to our chopping signal looks very clean. Thanks to the telescope team for solving this problem!

We learned some important protocol today regarding use of the aircraft for instrument testing. To insure that the continuing modifications of the aircraft are not compromised or interrupted, and to maintain safety standards, any people or equipment entering the aircraft must do so with a specific plan that is submitted in writing to the DAOF team prior to the activities. A DAOF-certified person must do all of the interface work (e.g. even plugging power cords into the sockets on the aircraft) and all tests and results must be documented. This is to insure that the aircraft is left in exactly the same state as when we entered. Any tools or equipment we bring onto the aircraft must be logged in and out to insure that nothing is left behind that might interfere with the aircraft modifications, maintenance, or safe operation. We're not used to this kind of controlled environment back in Ithaca, but it makes good sense and we're learning the routine.


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