Phase 1 commissioning nearing completion

The SCUBA-2 Gas Handling System, that controls the dilution refrigerator, on the Nasmyth platform at the JCMT. The SCUBA-2 cryostat is hidden from view behind.


The first phase of SCUBA-2 recommissioning, thermal optimisation, is coming to a successful completion. The changes that were implemented over the summer to the Cold Electronics Modules and Dilution Refrigerator (DR) have proved to be very successful and the cooling power of the DR is more than sufficient to cool all 8 sub-arrays to a lower base temperature than was previously achieved with just 4 sub-arrays in the system (2 science grade and 2 commissioning grade). Initial indications also suggest that the temperature oscillations that plagued us during the SCUBA-2 Shared Risks Observing campaign are significantly lower than before. All in all this is an important milestone for the project and bodes well for phase 2, array setup and characterisation, which will start on Monday November 8, 2010.



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