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Proceedings Paper

A scalable pick-off technology for multi-object instruments
Author(s): Peter Hastings; Suzanne Ramsay Howat; Peter Spanoudakis; Raymond van den Brink; Callum Norrie; David Clarke; K. Laidlaw; S. McLay; Johan Pragt; Hermine Schnetler; L. Zago
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Paper Abstract

Multi-object instruments provide an increasing challenge for pick-off technology (the means by which objects are selected in the focal plane and fed to sub-instruments such as integral field spectrographs). We have developed a technology demonstrator for a new pick-off system. The performance requirements for the demonstrator have been driven by the outline requirements for possible ELT instruments and the science requirements based on an ELT science case. The goals for the pick-off include that the system should capable of positioning upwards of one hundred pick-off mirrors to an accuracy better than 5 microns. Additionally, the system should be able to achieve this for a curved focal surface -- in this instance with a radius of curvature of 2m. This paper presents the first experimental results from one of the approaches adopted within the Smart Focal Plane project -- that of a Planetary Positioning System. This pick-and place system is so called because it uniquely uses a combination of three rotation stages to place a magnetically mounted pick-off mirror at any position and orientation on the focal surface. A fixed angular offset between the two principal rotation stages ensures that the pick-off mirror is always placed precisely perpendicular to the curved focal plane. The pick-off mirror is gripped and released by a planar micromechanical mechanism which is lowered and raised by a coil-actuated linear stage.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 July 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6273, Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy, 62732X (6 July 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.671644
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Hastings, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Suzanne Ramsay Howat, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Peter Spanoudakis, Ctr. Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (Switzerland)
Raymond van den Brink, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Callum Norrie, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
David Clarke, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
K. Laidlaw, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
S. McLay, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
Johan Pragt, ASTRON (Netherlands)
Hermine Schnetler, UK Astronomy Technology Ctr., Royal Observatory (United Kingdom)
L. Zago, Ctr. Suisse d'Electronique et de Microtechnique SA (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6273:
Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy
Eli Atad-Ettedgui; Joseph Antebi; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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