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Proceedings Paper

Tuning a 2.4-meter telescope... blindfolded
Author(s): Kyle Lanclos; Michael Peck; Michael Saylor; Robert I. Kibrick; Steve L. Allen
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Paper Abstract

Just as the 2.4 meter Automated Planet Finder (APF) commenced its final shakedown, three significant events occurred: uncontrolled telescope oscillations while tracking, liquidation of the telescope vendor’s primary facility, and the expiration of the vendor warranty. Left with scant documentation, few external resources to draw upon, and limited direct local expertise, University of California Observatories (UCO) embarked on an initiative to stabilize the telescope control system at a minimal internal cost. This paper covers the problems encountered, our solutions, and the compromises made when the budget could not support a complete remedy. Specific topics include: measurement and alignment of linear encoder signals, and custom electronics developed to enable precise alignment of the read heads and adjustment of the interpolation electronics; the use of sensitive accelerometers to isolate and diagnose sources of vibration, and to provide immediate feedback on the stability of the servo tuning; procedures used to adjust the servo control loop, and the observable effects of parameter adjustments; assessment and validation of the performance on-sky.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2014
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9145, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V, 91454B (22 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056593
Show Author Affiliations
Kyle Lanclos, Univ. of California Observatories, Santa Cruz (United States)
Michael Peck, Univ. of California Observatories, Santa Cruz (United States)
Michael Saylor, Univ. of California Observatories, Santa Cruz (United States)
Robert I. Kibrick, Univ. of California Observatories, Santa Cruz (United States)
Steve L. Allen, Univ. of California Observatories, Santa Cruz (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9145:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes V
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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