John Pazmino
 NYSkies Astronomy Inc
 1991 April 1
    The Instrument Group's new workshop is moving rapidly into full 
operation. By readtime [in April 1991] several projects are already 
underway, including an autocollimator, diffraction interferometer, 
ozone differential spectrometer. and videotelescope The workshop is a 
midterm loan of space by George Awad, of Awad Astronomical Models, in 
his factory loft. It occupies a L-shaped corner about 7 by 7 meters 
overall within a stud and Masonite enclosure. 
    Formally inaugurated on Saturday 1 December 1990, the shop is 
under equipment and furnishment by the Instrument Group in weekly 
meetings. In place already are the test tunnel, barrel tent, 
workbench, and computer alcove. The test tunnel is an opaque hooded 
frame spanning between the mirror test stand and the knife-edge table. 
It shields the airpath from ambient lights and currents. 
    The barrel tent is a transparent hooded frame over the grinding 
barrel. Large enough for all mirror operations by a craftsman inside, 
it helps to maintain an even temperature. 
    The Association's two AT-class computers are installed in the shop 
for image processing and general astronomy work. So far they are 
occupied by the Group for processing video images of mirror tests. 
    The facilities of the shop are not laid out for unstructured 
personal projects. Never the less, AAA members may avail of them as 
time and priority permit. In the main the shop is busy with Instrument 
Group projects. 
    Barry Levin, chair of the Instrument Group, gathered a strong team 
of AAAers, many from the Optical Division. Altho the Optical Division 
has been in latence since the elimination of its home in the Hayden 
Planetarium building, the Instrument Group is the direct successor of 
it. The new name reflects the expanded domains accessible to 
astronomers in optics, electronics, videography, and informatics, some 
entirely inconceivable only ten years ago. 
    The Instrument Group itself coalesced in mid 1989 from the 
evolution of the Optical Division and influx from the Brooklyn 
Chapter. Tho new on the astronomy scene the Group is attracting 
favorable attention and substantial support both within and without 
the profession. It has a routine correspondence with optics and 
computer experts at Columbia Broadcasting System, Brooklyn Polytechnic 
University, Brooklyn College, European Southern Observatory, NYU 
Medical Center, and Perkin-Elmer Company. The shop, even in its 
nascent form, hosted a visit from the National Air & Space Museum. 
    The Instrument Group's workshop is only the second facility 
operated by the Association "downtown". All other AAA sites were 
elsewhere on Manhattan Island or in the outer boros. (This discounts 
the occasional passive use of central city sites like the Empire State 
Building and Central Park.) The other downtown facility was the 
MOONwatch station on the [former] RCA tower in Rockefeller Center 
during the late 1950s. 
    The shop is in the Garment District near Herald Square and Penn 
Station. It is a short walk from Paddy's Market, Port of Authority, 
Times Square, Center Aryn, Murray Hill, Chelsea, Furs & Flowers, and 
Penn South. Many area rail and bus lines pass by the shop as do the 
blue, red, yellow, and orange subway lines. 
    Correspondence with the Instrument Group workshop is at Instrument 
Group-AAA, 2nd floor, 260 West 36th Street, New York NY 10018.