Saturday, October 24, 2009

SciMon Diary: Day 14

Unlike my last post this one's coming to you a bit earlier than normal. That's because when I leave the detector today I will be hitting the road and not coming back. It's my final shift! And afterwards I'm going to be driving up to Vancouver.

As shifts go this one has been very easy. It would have been nice to have an easy shift due to the detector being stable and locked in science mode, but unfortunately this has been easy due to the detector being out of science mode for the whole time! In fact we've been like that for nearly 24 hours (since just after the end of my shift yesterday). It seems that one of the operators (naming no names) yesterday changed some filters that have kind of screwed with our ability to get back into lock - until this morning they weren't even able to initiate the first stage of locking the detector (there are a few stages you go through before you have light locked down both arms at full power). The large earthquake in Indonesia then didn't help things. We* have managed to come back into lock for a while, but with quite a poor range. Hopefully things will improve by the end of my shift, by which time I can hand over the reigns to someone else. [As I type this we've come back into lock!]

*in all these posts when I've said "we" I've generally been talking about something that's been done by the detector operators, whilst I've sat back an watched.