We have begun testing HATPI on-sky! The full instrument is now integrated and instrument holder units (IHUs) are being populated with lenses and cameras as they roll off their assembly lines. The roof and mount operation have been automated and HATPI can now observe autonomously.
The first stage of HATPI mount installation and electronics setup is now complete and we have started integrating the cameras and lenses into the instrument. The timelapse below recaps the first major installation effort in May 2017. More installation trips are planned throughout the summer and fall as cameras and lenses continue to get delivered in batches.
The HATPI mount is now complete and ready for integration with the rest of the instrument.
The engineering design of the HATPI mount and instrument holder units has been finalized. The figures below show a profile view (left) and bird's eye view (right) of the complete instrument as envisioned. We will be using 63 lenses, attached to low-profile back-illuminated CCD cameras, and controlled by focus and fine-pointing actuators. The mount is a stepped pyramid allowing for easy access by maintenance personnel from above and below, coupled to a heavy duty equatorial drive able to handle several tons of moving instrument weight.
The HATPI building construction at Las Campanas Observatory is now nearly done. The concrete pier that will hold the equatorial mount has been poured and aligned. Interior electrical components will be installed shortly, along with hooking up power, HVAC, and Internet to the building. The building has two parts. The first is a large instrument bay equipped with a roll-off roof to house the HATPI instrument along with enough spare room to allow for maintenance. The second is a shed containing a server room with computers to drive the telescope mount, acquire image frames, analyze them, and store them. The shed also has a smaller "observers lounge" with desks, couches, and shelves for people helping out with maintenance. HATPI will be an automated observatory, so we expect most operations to be run in this mode, but having room on-site for emergencies is definitely useful.