6th February 2013 - Gluing the foam cone

1 March 2013 by Angela Taylor

Jamie, Charles and Angela being proper scientists

It's time to do one of the stranger jobs on C-BASS today, and that involves us wearing white lab coats like proper scientists. We have to glue together a large block of foam (zotefoam) on top of which we will glue the C-BASS secondary mirror.

C-BASS is not like most radio telescopes (or satellite dishes) which have their secondary mirrors supported on metal legs. The metal legs can scatter incoming radio waves and these scattered radio waves get polarized. The main aim of C-BASS is to detect very small polarized signals from space and so we want to avoid scattering any contaminating signals into our receiver. So, instead of metal legs, we use a large cone made of zotefoam to support our secondary mirror. Zotefoam is great as it is strong and also transparent to radio waves. We also have to make sure that all the glue we use is transparent to radio waves.

Angela getting ready to glue the foam cone and mirror

Gluing together the first 2 pieces of foam cone

Gluing the mirror to the foam cone