This past week the APOGEE hardware team jumped another hurdle by installing the slithead and the first 120 fibers into the APOGEE instrument. These are the so-called “long-links”, which are 40 meters long and connect the spectrograph (in a separate room) to the SDSS telescope.
Four spools of bundled fibers (30 per "cable" giving 120 in total) containing the fully manufactured long-links. They are being fed into the cryostat assembly clean tent.
The fibers are routed through the cryostat wall, looped through cooling trays, and then held securely in place with the s-tracks shown before reaching the spectrograph slithead
Close up of the slithead. After passing through the ends of the s-tracks (at upper left) the bare fibers (copper-colored) are splayed out and terminated within grooved blocks that are aligned to make sure the end of each fiber is in its proper location. The image shows the first three blocks (90 total fibers) in place.