The Installation Schedule:
There were significant difficulties with the telescope pier
and dome which were apparent immediately upon our first look
at the dome on Friday afternoon (9/27). The architect and
building contractor had conspired to place a corner of a concrete
elevator shaft such that it intruded into the dome directly
behind the telescope pier and interfered with the telescope
structure by almost 5 inches.
(Maybe because the elevator shaft didn't interfere
with the pier, nobody had realized this was a problem.
Regardless, the all important Sunday crane day was canceled.)
We worked with the Physics machine shop personnel over
Saturday and Sunday to modify our sole plate and their
pier to work around the problem. The physics shop machinists
were extremely motivated, well equipped, and skillful.
The solution left the telescope 6 inches North of where
it should have been in the dome, and we were able to
modify our dome control algorithm software to compensate.
The pier and sole-plate modifications were accomplished
The crane was rescheduled for Tuesday night because
Emory couldn't close the road on a week day. We explained
to Dr. DuVarny that we had never done the crane work
at night, but we felt it would not be a problem.
By helping the college and working with them, we were
able to complete the installation of the telescope within
the original installation schedule.
The installation was about average difficulty. It was
a balmy night in Atlanta and the crane arrived at 8
pm. The road closed at 8:30 and the crane began setting
up. We started the lifts at ~10:30 and the last lift
was finished at ~1 am.
DFM had a 3 man crew on site: Don Groff, Jack L'Abbe,
and Mark Kelley. The crane was huge. It arrived along
with a flatbed trailer pulled by a semi-tractor and
an auxiliary hydraulic crane to assist in assembly of
the big crane. In addition to the main crane driver,
there were 4 other crew members from the crane company.
We had just enough clear sky to perform our normal alignment
and testing. The fundamental alignment of the pier was
very close to true North so the polar alignment went
Pointing model tune-up was limited by available sky
but we achieved 18 arc second RMS pointing to meet our
"better than 30 arc second specification".
Optical alignment time was very limited but the image
production looked good.
Operation training: Emory had a number of extremely
motivated individuals who participated in training and
they have been having a great time with the telescope
since we left.
Customer Satisfaction and Performance Demonstration:
Because the telescope was so well prepared before it left
DFM, all of the features contracted just worked when we turned
them on. This is the first full sized DFM telescope installed
with our new Windows™ based software and the new software was
a big success with the customer too.
First Light Images:
The physics faculty, staff, and students at Emory were
The department secretary was there for the crane work.
Their machinists were there for the lifts and night