Del was born in Berkeley, California and raised on the Big Island. He graduated from Parker School in 2022 and is now majoring in mechanical engineering at Colorado School of Mines. Del plans to minor in aerospace engineering and have a career in the aerospace industry. In his free time, Del enjoys mountain biking, going to the beach, and spending time with friends.
Home Island: Hawai’i Island
High School: Parker School
Institution when accepted: Colorado School of Mines
Designing and Implementing a Landing Alignment System for CFHT’s MegaPrime Instrument
Project Site: Canada-France-Hawai?i Telescope, Waimea, HI
Mentor: Greg Barrick & Raycen Wong
MegaPrime is a large astronomical instrument that operates at the prime focus of the Canada-France-Hawai‘i Telescope (CFHT). The 10-ton structure is switched out with other instruments once every few weeks, for which it must be “landed” on an access platform base for storage and maintenance. The rotational orientation of MegaPrime during landing is currently set using a small aluminum bar held by hand between the upper-end spider and the access platform stand. This procedure, which has been in place for many years, is not very precise, and it poses some pinch risk to the person holding the gauge block for the rotation. This project included the design and construction of a new mechanism for safely landing the MegaPrime upper end in its storage location, while ensuring that it is in the correct rotational position to allow the access platform to land properly on its receiving stand. The new landing guide still allows access to MegaPrime’s platform without being removed, and it is designed to have a lifetime of 120 landing operations, or approximately 10 years of operation, without requiring replacement of any parts. In addition, the mechanism will operate without requiring personnel to place any part of their body between moving and stationary parts during the landing process.