Bringing the FOB to ISAS/JAXA

The Fixed Optical Bench (FOB) (manufactured by Nippi) is now in the vibration test room at ISAS. The size of each stage is about two meters, so that the full size of the bench is roughly six meters. The four large holes in the platform seen at the top of the photograph will each carry a telescope, while two scientific instruments will be installed on the bottom face of the bench. Not seen in the photograph, the Extensible Optical Bench (EOB), which will carry two cutting-edge high-energy detectors, will be attached from the bottom-most surface. Focussing X-ray optics requires a long focal length. The FOB will be loaded into an H-IIA rocket just as it is seen in the photograph. (The H-IIA rocket is certainly a large rocket!) Soon, the FOB will be loaded onto the vibration test stand where it will be subjected to vibrations similar to those it is expected to experience during launch. These tests will confirm whether or not the FOB can withstand the launch without breaking. Stirring times, indeed!

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