A Construction Cam for TMT

Not a hard job, but someone has to do it… Hanging off the weather tower again. This time all I am doing is taking pictures!

Paul and Fred from the the TMT telescope are walking the perimeter of the TMT site with a large white pole. At a few preset points they call me on the radio and I snap a couple photos. I spend the few minutes between each location just enjoying the view, or adjusting the climbing harness to find a less uncomfortable pose. At least the weather is quite nice.

TMT Site from Keck
the TMT site as seen from the Keck Observatory roof
The idea is to locate a remote camera that can be used to monitor the construction of TMT. We need to be certain that the entire site can be clearly seen by the camera before we go through the effort to install it.

The camera will most likely be mounted on the Keck weather mast. The location offers power and communications along with a secure mounting point. What we learn is good news, from the mast there is a clear view of the complete TMT building site

What remains to be done is the paperwork. First we must seek and receive approval from the Office of Mauna Kea Management. Any changes to the outside of any of the facilities must be approved before work begins. I have done this in the past whenever I modify one of the weather instruments. Usually not a major hurdle, but one that must be done right.

I have supported the TMT in a number of small ways. It will be exciting to watch the construction, we have a ringside seat at Keck!

Author: Andrew

An electrical engineer, amateur astronomer, and diver, living and working on the island of Hawaiʻi.

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