SAT-1 Cooldown Thermometry

The SAT-1 at UCSD recently passed the one month milestone for its ongoing cooldown, which began on March 13th. As can be seen in the thermometry dashboard, it took several days to cool the telescope down from room temperature (300 Kelvin) to its operating temperature, which depending on the telescope component ranges from 40 Kelvin to 100 milliKelvin (the latter is just one tenth of a degree above absolute zero). During this time we have been testing two critical components: 1) The first detectors in SAT-1 along with their associated readout electronics, and 2) The cold half wave plate, which rotates the polarization of light entering the telescope by spinning at a rate of 2Hz. The thermometry dashboard tells part of the story of the cooldown through the two panels on the right: from March 18th to March 25th (and again on April 9th and 15th) we intentionally heated the coldest telescope stages in order to perform tests, causing discrete rises in temperature that form the spikes in the plots. This heating and data logging is done entirely remotely, by accessing power supplies and thermometery readout systems hooked up to the UCSD network. – From Jake Spisak

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