Second Quarter 1997

Major procurements continued this quarter. The contract for optical fabrication of the spherical lenses and mirrors, flat mirrors, dichroic substrates, and dewar windows, was awarded to Optics for Research. A/D converters (2Mhz speed, 16-bit resolution) were ordered from Analogic Corp. Purchasing of many smaller items for the cryostat and electronics continued apace.

Hughes Tools are progressing with the Phase I cryostat fabrication (all the mechanical components required for vacuum tests). The plates for the vacuum jacket were at the welders for e-beam welding. Delivery of the completed vacuum jacket to IfA is scheduled for July. In good time for this event, the instrument handling cart was received in May. Requests for quotation for Phase II of the cryostat fabrication (all the mechanical components required for initial cryogenic tests) were sent to vendors. The contract for Phase II will be awarded next quarter. Final drafting of the drawings for Phase III of the cryostat fabrication (all the mechanical components required for the spectrograph box) is about to start. A dummy spectrograph box for use in the Phase II cryogenic tests was made in the IfA machine shop. The first detector mount was fabricated, partially wired, and cooled for the first in the lab test dewar.

Most the electronic boards required to run an array in the lab test system, are now stuffed. Prototype A/D and fiber-optic boards have been received, and the pre-amp PCB is being designed. DSP coding has continued. The system can now run simple clocking patterns. The software interface to the Lakeshore temperature controllers was successfully tested. IRTF installed a two-headed UltraSPARC workstation ("Stefan") at the summit during the quarter. Although not part of the SpeX project, the SpeX GUI and on-line reduction package will make use of the two screens. Unfortunately SpeX software work slowed during the quarter due to the resignation of the IRTF's computer programmer. This will place an additional load on the remaining IRTF software engineer until a replacement is hired next quarter. As a result the lab test array controller has been delayed two months, to August.

Of the 11 InSb wafers processed so far for the PAIDAI Project (from which SpeX will gets its arrays), two have yielded good or better arrays. (These two wafers each include one 1024x512 array, although these were not probed.) The resulting yield of about 20% compares to the expected yield of about 30%. More wafers are currently being processed up to a planned total of 20. Depending on future processing, PAIDAI has the option of funding more InSb wafers. SBRC has so far allocated three good readouts to PAIDAI. As of May 29, PAIDAI had sufficient parts to attempt two 1024x1024 hybridizations. The first hybridization was originally scheduled for May, but the PAIDAI Steering Committee (Chair Mumma, Gatley, Matthews McLean and Rayner), decided to delay this until SBRC had remedied some of the hybridization problems they were experiencing. In some better news, SBRC finally hybridized a science-grade device (for Subaru).