SCUBA-2 reaches base temperature!

 

SCUBA-2 reaches base temperature

 

SCUBA-2 achieved base temperature last night, reaching 72 mK, colder than during the first phase of commissioning and shared-risks observing last year. Note that this is with eight arrays installed (only two were installed before), albeit they have not all been switched on yet. Nevertheless, all indications so far suggest that the new cable design for the cold electronics modules has worked. This is excellent news and congratulations to the team for achieving this milestone!

What follows now is a period of thermal optimisation work by the commissioning team in an effort to improve the He-4/He-3 mixture and get the best performance out of the refrigeration system, and perhaps an even colder base temperature.

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3 Responses to SCUBA-2 reaches base temperature!

  1. Geronimo says:

    The new cable looks just like the cable used on the Scuba array readout. Do people not learn?

    • Wayne Holland says:

      Very astute. Indeed the new cables are like those developed for SCUBA and for very good reason. After one design iteration the SCUBA cables worked extremely well for the 7 years the instrument was in service. Indeed, the heritage of such success is that this design has been adopted in many new instruments and commercialised by the UK-based Tekdata – a highly successful company that specialises in cryo-harnesses (even space-qualified versions). The SCUBA-2 ribbon cables from 4K to room temperature have performed flawlessly. It is true that we have needed a few iterations to get the 4K-mK cables to work well (these are shown in the photos), but the new results from the instrument suggest that this is now the case.

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