The first fiber cable unit has arrived in Hawaii!

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Time flies — there are only a few days left in 2020. The last post of this year is about a very exciting news! The first unit of the fiber cable system has been delivered from Laboratório Nacional de Astrofísica (LNA), Brazil, to Hawaii Observatory of National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ) in Hawaii, the USA.

The crate of the fiber cable delivered to Hawaii Observatory

PFS is the fiber spectrograph capable to observe about 2400 celestial objects at a time. PFS is installed to Subaru telescope at Hawaii observatory of NAOJ. Fibers and their positioners are attached on the Subaru prime focus, and 4 spectrograph modules are accommodated in the dedicated clean room in the dome building. The fiber system is 55m long fiber cable to connect the fiber positioners and the spectrograph modules.

Schematic picture of the fiber cable system

The fiber cable system is designed not to induce extra stress while the telescope is moving. Since 2019, when the first phase production finished in UK, the second phase of integration has been proceeding at LNA.

Brazilian members responsible for the fiber cable system.

Although COVID-19 prevented us from accessing to the lab for a few months earlier this year, the first cable was competed and its performance was validated. In October 2020, we had a pre-ship review and received a green signal for shipping. In December 2020, the fiber cable arrived at Hawaii Observatory.

According to the inspection at delivery, the fibers looked OK. The cable will be shipped to Subaru telescope at the summit of Mt. Maunakea soon, installed on the telescope and tested its performance on the telescope.