Flamingos-I Hot News

FLAMINGOS-I Damaged During Shipping to Chile; Repairs Underway

8 August 2001

FLAMINGOS-I arrived in Chile in mid July. Upon unpacking it was discovered that the crates carrying the dewar had been subject to some shock and subsequent vibration which broke one of the lenses installed in the FLAMINGOS-I camera unit. At the moment this appears to be the extent of the damage to the instrument. Fortunately, a near exact copy of the broken lens is available at CTIO and the University of Florida has made arrangements for its use in FLAMINGOS-I.

The University of Florida Team and Gemini staff expect that at least three weeks will be required to install the new lens and to complete needed commissioning tasks on Gemini South before science observations can commence. Consequently, as a result of this delay, we plan to start the first science block in the first week of September. The queue schedule is therefore being reworked to accommodate these changes and we hope that the resulting impact on the amount of time available for science use will be minimal.

The contact scientists assigned to scheduled FLAMINGOS-I programs are currently preparing the Phase II information for PI proposals and will be in contact with the PIs in the very near future regarding their observing programs.


25 August 2001 - Update

The FLAMINGOS-I detector was found to also have suffered damage with one or more bond wires loose or disconnected on the detector. The detector has been returned to California for urgent repairs.


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Last update August 8, 2001; Michael Ledlow