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The SPIRou Cryostat delivered at IRAP/OMP

The spectrograph cryo-mechanics was delivered at IRAP/OMP and is currently under assembly


September 2016 marks the completion of a major milestone in the SPIRou project, with the delivery of the spectrograph cryo-mechanics (cryostat and optical bench) from NRC-H in Victoria (Canada) to IRAP/OMP in Toulouse (France).

After four days of air and ground travel, the six tons of the SPIRou cryo-mechanics finally arrived at the IRAP/OMP integration platform. Unpacking followed immediately, which meant in practice dismounting and emptying each of the 9 crates one after the other, and transferring the corresponding equipment into the transfer hall of the integration platform. All sensors on the crates were double-checked to make sure that no problem occurred during the trip (shocks, tilts, extreme temperature and humidity). The equipment was then cleaned before being installed in the dedicated ISO8 clean room, in which SPIRou will stay for almost one year.

The ongoing first step of the assembly consists in aligning the two main cylinder of the vessel with the internal support frame. The optical bench, including the cold plate and bus, is then assembled on the frame. Different metallic structures and rails used to handle and position all the equipment are then removed. In the second step, we will repeat the cryostat acceptance tests following reassembly and check that the performances met at NRC-H can be reached again.

These activities are carried out under the guidance and control of Nicolas Striebig (IRAP/OMP), Leslie Saddlemyer (NRC-H) and Eric Le Comte (IRAP/OMP). Special thanks to the NRC-H team for the completion of this major milestone, and for the IRAP/OMP team for the smooth reception of the material.

Time laps of the spectrograph installation 

SPIRou project web site :

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