Fourth Quarter 1996

SpeX passed its Design Review on October 8 with flying colours, clearing the way for major hardware procurement. A presentation about the instrument was given to the IRTF Day Crew on Mauna Kea with a view to getting input from the Day Crew on instrument handling and maintenance issues.

By the end of December all the components required for vacuum testing of the electron-beam welded vacuum jacket had been designed. Fabrication is scheduled for the 1st quarter of 1997. Design of the detector mounts and wiring scheme is almost complete.

Assembly of the spectrograph array controller also started in December. The VME64 SPARC engine was delivered and orders placed for two Ixthos DSP boards. Software work concentrated on the instrument control computer (mechanisms) and the instrument user interface. Lab testing this quarter included Hall Effect position sensors and heat sinking of wires entering the cryostat.

SBRC started processing of InSb wafers for the PAIDAI foundry run on December 16. SpeX will get first choice of array from this foundry run.