Kim Bott was raised on Whidbey Island in Washington State. It was here, in the presence of a clear view of the Milky Way, that her deep interest in astronomy was born. She transferred to the University of Hawaii at Hilo in 2007 from Northern Arizona University and intends to graduate in Fall 2008 with Physics and Astronomy degrees. Her hobbies include writing, snorkeling, hiking and painting.
Home Island: Mainland
Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Hilo
Akamai Project: Effective Camera Design: The IRIS Telescope Camera
Project Site: Institute for Astronomy
Mentor: Klaus Hodapp
Perhaps as important as the telescope itself is the camera recording the telescope’s images. The camera for the IRIS (InfraRed Imaging Survey) telescope, to be placed in Chile in 2009, requires a complicated design. The infrared camera requires cooling to avoid false imaging from proximate heat sources. This is accomplished with a cryostat: in this case, a canister filled with liquid nitrogen within a well-insulated vacuum casing. Using AutoCAD, I have improved the design for the vacuum casing and designed a piece to mount the camera to the telescope. The end designs for the vacuum casing and the mount allow for ease of use, ease of access, effective weight distribution, and have a reasonable overall weight. They are of exceptional strength, ensuring that the large camera is well supported, and provide a successful vacuum and, therefore, cryostat. After creating the designs, the pieces were successfully furbished and assembled. The cryostat system for the camera was tested for holding time. A near perfect vacuum was achieved and the liquid nitrogen remained for 26 hours in initial tests, surpassing our goal of 24 hours. This suggests that additional measures to keep the camera cold, such as the use of gold for insulation, will not be necessary if the new casings perform similarly. The end design for the vacuum casing and the mount are effective and practical, meeting or exceeding all of our goals for the IRIS telescope camera cryostat system.