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Proceedings Paper

Starbug fibre positioning robots: performance and reliability enhancements
Author(s): David M. Brown; Scott Case; James Gilbert; Michael Goodwin; Daniel Jacobs; Kyler Kuehn; Jon Lawrence; Nuria P. F. Lorente; Vijay Nichani; Will Saunders; Nick Staszac; Julia Tims
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Paper Abstract

Starbugs are miniature piezoelectric ‘walking’ robots that can be operated in parallel to position many payloads (e.g. optical fibres) across a telescope’s focal plane. They consist of two concentric piezo-ceramic tubes that walk with micron step size. In addition to individual optical fibres, Starbugs have moved a payload of 0.75kg at several millimetres per second. The Australian Astronomical Observatory previously developed prototype devices and tested them in the laboratory. Now we are optimising the Starbug design for production and deployment in the TAIPAN instrument, which will be capable of configuring 300 optical fibres over a six degree field-of-view on the UK Schmidt Telescope within a few minutes. The TAIPAN instrument will demonstrate the technology and capability for MANIFEST (Many Instrument Fibre-System) proposed for the Giant Magellan Telescope. Design is addressing: connector density and voltage limitations, mechanical reliability and construction repeatability, field plate residues and scratching, metrology stability, and facilitation of improved motion in all aspects of the design for later evaluation. Here we present the new design features of the AAO TAIPAN Starbug.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 August 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9151, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, 91511A (7 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055594
Show Author Affiliations
David M. Brown, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Scott Case, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
James Gilbert, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Michael Goodwin, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Daniel Jacobs, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Kyler Kuehn, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Jon Lawrence, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Nuria P. F. Lorente, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Vijay Nichani, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Will Saunders, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Nick Staszac, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Julia Tims, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9151:
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation
Ramón Navarro; Colin R. Cunningham; Allison A. Barto, Editor(s)

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