Thursday, February 04, 2010

Engineering Challenge

As part of all this 'teaching stuff' I do with Santa Cruz, I end up talking a lot about engineering challenges and group activities meant to improve students skills. Well, last night I got some of my own medicine. We were trying to solve some issues with the curvature AO system. And the test went something like this:

3:30pm - "You have just received telescope time at 8pm tonight. You must design and build a camera to reimage the telescope pupil with sufficient accuracy to estimate the size of the central hole to better than 1%. Use what you know of the telescope to do the optical design. Find what parts you can in the cabinet in order to make your camera. Drive it up the mountain, assemble it and get on the sky. You have 4 hours. Go."

It was actually kind of fun in a weird way.


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