Chrome Dome Near Completion
16 December 2002
Austin, TX --The HET Enclosure Thermal Control Project, designed to control the flow of heat through the thin skin
of the dome, is near completion. As heat escapes through the dome, cold air falls through the light path, degrading
the seeing. 334 aluminum tape panels
will be installed. As of December 14, 285.5 were in place.
Initially, extensive readings were taken in and around the dome to accurately map variations in temperature.
Experiments were then performed with TiO2 paint and aluminum foil tape to determine the most effective
control solution. The aluminum significantly outperformed the paint. On the
WIYN dome at Kitt Peak, tests of the foil solution show no drop in performance, 8 years after installation.
The related project Snufalufagus, named for an early, heavy box with a hose protruding from it, will attempt to control waste
heat generated by instruments inside the dome. These include the Low Resolution Spectrograph's electronics located in the
tracker package at prime focus, the PXL cameras, also located there, and even wall warts in use.
The installation crew, potentially delayed by rain, cold and high winds, has remained on call to take
advantage of good weather.
For more complete documentation, see Operation's