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Proceedings Paper

Autofib--2: an automated fiber positioner for the prime focus of the William Herschel Telescope
Author(s): Ian Robert Parry; Ian J. Lewis; Ray M. Sharples; George N. Dodsworth; John Webster; David W. Gellatly; Lewis R. Jones; Frederick G. Watson
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Paper Abstract

We are currently testing an automated fibre positioner for the 4.2 m William Herschel Telescope (WHT). This instrument, known as Autofib-2, operates at the prime focus where it is able to utilize the full 1 degree field provided by the prime focus corrector (PFC). The robotic positioner is able to place 160 optical fibres in the focal plane of the WHT which feeds the light to a dedicated spectrograph (WYFFOS) located on the Nasmyth platform. This paper contains a description of the instrument which highlights the new techniques demanded by the prime focus plate scale and the scale distortions due to the PFC and its atmospheric dispersion compensator. These include robot vision to help achieve the high positioning accuracy and the use of two sky viewing probes to accurately determine the time dependent transformation from celestial coordinates to instrumental Cartesian coordinates. Also presented are the initial technical results on the performance of the instrument and the operational results of particular interest to the astronomical observer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1994
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2198, Instrumentation in Astronomy VIII, (1 June 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176708
Show Author Affiliations
Ian Robert Parry, Anglo-Australian Observatory (United Kingdom)
Ian J. Lewis, Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom)
Ray M. Sharples, Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom)
George N. Dodsworth, Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom)
John Webster, Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom)
David W. Gellatly, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United States)
Lewis R. Jones, Royal Greenwich Observatory (United Kingdom)
Frederick G. Watson, Royal Greenwich Observatory (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2198:
Instrumentation in Astronomy VIII
David L. Crawford; Eric R. Craine, Editor(s)

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