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Proceedings Paper

Two axes fully elastic pointing mechanism at microarcsec resolution
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Paper Abstract

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is presently developing the PRIMA facility (Phase Referenced Imaging and Microarcsecond Astronomy). PRIMA will enable the observation of very faint celestial objects. A key element in this facility is the Star Separator that has been designed and is being built by TNO TPD in the Netherlands. This Star Separator makes it possible in principle to simultaneously observe two objects, the guide star and the faint object, with one telescope. The separation of the faint object and the guide star is case dependent i.e. the separation between the two objects depends on the observation direction. This necessitates the use of a very accurate and stable pointing mechanism. The required repeatability of such mechanism is < 0.5 arcsec while its resolution should be < 0.1 arcsec. By using a statically determined fully elastic guiding and actuation mechanism in combination with closed loop driven piezos the realization of such mechanism was successful. A unique feature of the mechanism is that only the guiding/actuating mechanism needed to be designed. The rest is readily available from piezo suppliers. This makes this pointing mechanism a true low budget solution with excellent performance.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 September 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5528, Space Systems Engineering and Optical Alignment Mechanisms, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.560936
Show Author Affiliations
Jan R. Nijenhuis, TNO TPD Institute of Applied Physics (Netherlands)
Peter Giesen, TNO TPD Institute of Applied Physics (Netherlands)
Francoise Delplancke, European Southern Observatory (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5528:
Space Systems Engineering and Optical Alignment Mechanisms
Lee D. Peterson; Robert C. Guyer, Editor(s)

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