Archived news from the pre-on-sky-propagation era.

First full power test (Oct./Nov. 2013)

First full power test (Oct./Nov. 2013)

During our Oct./Nov. 2013 installation and test campaign we could do the first full power test of the laser and launch system. This was an important preparation for the first on-sky test.
Service mini-campaign (Aug.2013, Snake)

Service mini-campaign (Aug.2013, Snake)

To prepare the next big installation campaign, we had a combined Luci/Argos mission in August. Goal was to close lots of time consuming small action items. Although we didn't request telescope time or day crew assistence, this campaign was very successfull and will make the next campaign much easier.
Alignment of the launch system (June 2013, Coati)
During our June installation run, we (among others) aligned the launch system. The picture shows the large mirror, illuminated by the alignment laser. more
The laser system installation team (April 2013, Squirrel)
The (slightly exhausted) team after the successfull installation of the laser system. Front (L->R) Mathias Honsberg, David Huber. Rear (L->R) Julian Ziegleder, Walfried Raab, Matthias Deysenroth, Sebastian Rabien. more
Alignment of the laserboxes (April 2013)
Both laser boxes were adjusted to point on the large lenses of the launch system (lenses covered on the picture).  Furthermore all systems were powered and tested. The Argos lasers are ready to be fired into sky! more
Second laser box installed (April 2013)
Now both laser boxes are mounted to the telecope (April 12). We plan to route all cables, water - and compressed air hoses over the weekend. more
Installation of the first laser box (April 2013)
On April 4. the DX laserbox was installed on the telescope. To get the box between the wind braces, the telescope had to be tilted by 62°. Our brave men Matthias D., Mathias H. and Walfried received the box on the still tilted telescope and mounted it. All went well and complication free. Now we are looking foreward to install the second unit. more
Ready for shipment (Mar. 2013)
Packing was finished today, now we are ready for shipment! Totally the Argos laser system will be delivered in 8 custom made wood boxes, 9 aluminum boxes and has a weight of 4.2t.

From left to right: Julian, Matthias, Walfried, Gilles, Sebastian, Hans and Christina. more
Preparing shipment (Feb. 2013)

The laser system was completely disassembled and will now be prepared for shipment. 

more
Wavefront sensor progress (Feb. 2013)
The PNCCD, the final detector, was successfully tested for the first time on the wavefront sensor. For this test we used a preliminary camera mount and opened the sensor enclosure to align the setup. Data acquisition was done by the new analog interface of the BCU. The camera's readout and control electronics as well as the new developed power supply were finalized and are in operation. more
Laser system tilted on telescope simulator. (Sept. 2012)

Laser system tilted on telescope simulator. (Sept. 2012)

To test the system like it will be operated at the telescope, it is mounted on the 0-90° tiltable telescope simulator. All components, including optics, lasers, electronics and water-water heat exchangers can be tested in different orientations.
Lasers passing the focus lens.

Lasers passing the focus lens.

The focus lens is used to adjust the focus of the laser beams in 12km height.
LAL & LM1 dust cover installation (July 2012)

LAL & LM1 dust cover installation (July 2012)

The LM1 (large mirror) and large asphere lense dust covers where mounted at the LBT. The lenses have a temporary aluminum protective cover.
Final laser system assembly (Apr. 2012)
We started to assemble and test the laser boxes.
While the DX laser box (background) is already in test, we work on the SX box. First light! (of the alignment lasers on the ceiling...) High power test will follow soon.
The central spot is the sodium dummy laser.
Laser box software test (Nov. 2011)
With this test setup we checked how the instrument software, which is still under development, is working with a complex system like our laser box. Here it has to handle several motors, cameras, diagnostic systems, safety systems and of course the laser itself.
More ARGOS installations on the telescope (Aug. 2011)
The installation of the calibration swingarm is in progress. Seen on the LBT Live views.

LBT without swingarm. LBT with the first ARGOS swingarm on SX C-ring extension.
Installation of the second swingarm. Operational swingarm.
We thank and congratualte all the team for this great work!
ARGOS consortium meeting Firenze (Mar. 2011)

Almost the complete ARGOS team came to Acetri, Florence to join the regularly consortium meeting.
In the background, but unfortunately not visible here, is Galileo Galilei's house.
ARGOS telescope simulator (Dec. 2010)
The telescope simulator will help us to integrate and test our laser system or other sub-systems. It is capable to rotate 2 laser boxes (6 lasers), together with 4 electronic racks by 0-90°.
And a merry Christmas to everybody!
Tilted telescope simulator. Team members after the delivery: Hans, Sebastian, Julian, Matthias and Thomas.
Installation of the first Argos Platforms (Sept. 2010)
SR: "During the last week the first pieces of Argos have been brought to mount Graham and are now installed to the telescope. As first infrastructure two rigid platforms for the laser systems surrounded by access platforms and mounts for the racks are now fixed in between the windbraces. Thanks to the careful design, the excellent campaign planning, our nice and enthusiastic installation team and a friendly support by LBTO, the platforms where installed smoothly, in time and perfect position.
Many thanks to the installation team: Hans, Matthias D, Mathias H & Stefan! "
The successful installation team (L to R: Stefan Huber, Mathias Honsberg, Hans Gemperlein; Matthias Deysenroth.) The 2 platforms and a dummy electronics box are installed to the LBT.
Cutting Steel (Aug. 2010)
The laser launch and supply platforms were manufactured and accepted. Now they will be painted, shipped and installed to the LBT. In the meanwhile the first electronics parts were manufactured. Here the fast photodiodes, used for the laser diagnostics.
Hardware is proceeding (May 2010)
pnCCD 2. genreation (left). While the first test system (right) was cooeld by a Stirling cooler and an always running vacuum pump, the new one is cooled by peltier elements. This was a big step towards the final design. The Microgate BCU with a high coltage controller. This will capture the the data of our wavefront sensor and control a tip-/tilt-piezo mirror to stabilize the incoming light.
(Picture shows a similar device)
Final Design Review (27.-28. Mar. 2010)
The Argos final design review just has finished with the panels judgement that we have 'passed' !
The Final Design Review in Tucson. Close co-operation between ARGOS and LUCIFER.
28 documents, 844  pages.
Our documents for the Final Design Review are prepared and ready for delivery (Mar. 2010)
Testing a lot of our final stuff: 3 lasers on one heat exchanger, the water cooled power meter and some small electrical devices.
All operated on the 230VAC/50Hz to 120VAC/60Hz converter and on a tilting bench. (Feb. 2010)
Question: How much is the average power output of one laser? 3 Lasers shooting on one powermeter (the small box on the upper border)
Oh yes, there will be light (Feb. 2010)
First test of 3 lasers on one heat exchanger. Already operated with 120V/60Hz. Ready for the telescope: six lasers for six stars.
... and the ARGOS lasers were delivered (Nov. 2009)
some of the boxes #1 was started up by its proud parents. Output power is ~18.7W, pulsewidth ~26ns. Weight is about...
The ARGOS Lasers are ordered (July 2009)
(Images from the manufacturer)
The InnoLas nanio series NANIO 532-18-Y
532nm, 18W at 10kHz
While the development of the peltier element based cooler for the wavefront sensor detector is in progress.... ...a system of the pnCCD arrived at our lab in Garching. (June 2009)
Visit of the Solar Tower at INAF during ARGOS consortium meeting in May 2009.
LBT's adaptive secondary (about 15m above)
 is tested here with the AGW unit.
Demonstration of the adaptive secondary. It works!
 

ARGOS Preliminary Design Review 17./18. Feb. 2009
left->right: Bob Fugate, Richard Myers, Enrico Fedrigo
Not shown: Francois Rigaut
PDR Dinner



Ks image of NGC 1569 taken during commissioning with LUCIFER,
end 2008 / beginning 2009
Lucifer installed on the SX derotator, Jan. 2009
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