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November Monthly Report from Batavia, IL
November was just a fair operating month. A lot of cloud cover comes this
time of year. Further TOM3 took sick early in the month. So mostly TOM1
and TOM2 took data. Still, what clear nights there were were long, and I
collected 5 million measurement pairs.
We have made serious progress on the big black box. It is 16" x 16" by 8'
long. It has two compartments with separate lids. That way I can keep the
optical path sealed up. As I wrote last month, I should have done this at
the start. I will then get the test stand going and should be able to take
images in the lab to test all parts of the system.
I bought this wonderful kludge from JDR Microdevices. It consists of a CD
ROM drive shaped box that contains a small water reservoir, a pump, a
radiator, and a cooling fan. There is a heat sink with another fan on it
to cool a CPU connected by plastic tubing. I am running both fans to use
as a cooling system for the lab set up. We just cut the tubing and routed
the cooling water through the camera under test.
Most of the month was spent writing software, trying it out on data, and
then throwing it away. I am slowly getting to the point that I can just
write what I want to do in perl and it works. I am working on the current
collection of 43,000 image pairs. Roughly 78 million measurement pairs of
17 million stars. I am determined to find something to make the data just
a little bit better before I write the paper.
I think the data is not so bad. I have tested the "fixed" stars against
Brian Skiff's big photometry file and the mean error is small. Eventually
I will give up and write.