James Ah Heong Jr. was born in Hilo and graduated form Waiakea High School. He attended Hawai’i Community College studying Electronics Technology and is currently completing a Liberal Arts degree to transfer to UH Hilo.  James currently holds a position as a student technician for the Infra Red Telescope Facility. He hopes to gain great experience while interning for the CfAO.

Home Island: Big Island
Institution when acceptedHawai’i Community College

Akamai Project: RedStar3 Array Controller Electronics Bench System

Project Site: Institute for Astronomy, Hilo

Mentors: Mark Chun, Darryl Watanabe

Project Abstract:

The NSF Cam 2 was funded by the National Science Foundation and is currently in service at the NASA Infra Red Telescope Facility, on the summit of Mauna Kea. The goal of this project is to improve the performance of the instrument, while allowing it to remain in service. In its current configuration the instrument is experiencing inadequate image quality, due presumably to unrefined software and noisy electronics. In an effort to test the areas of inadequacy we have decided to implement an array controller lab system for electronic testing and software design. The RedStar3 system consists of 13 electronics boards arranged on a VME backplane. The system electronics were fabricated, a fan system and body for the controller was designed and fabricated and the overall workings of the system were vigorously tested. Two test boxes, designed to aid in the first stage tests of the assembled boards were also fabricated. The testing phase involved running a full lab system including a temperature controlled cryostat and a multiplexer. This gave the closest results to an actual array. Upon test completion the system was implemented on the NSF Cam 2 and working conditions were compared in an effort to deduce the main problems with the current configuration. We hope to uncover the mystery behind this unfortunate hurdle in NSF Cam 2’s performance. Test results will be presented.