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Proceedings Paper

Beating the heat! automated characterization of piezoelectric tubes for Starbugs
Author(s): Rafal Piersiak; Michael Goodwin; James Gilbert; Rolf Muller
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Paper Abstract

The Australian Astronomical Observatory has extensively prototyped a new robotic positioner to allow simultaneous positioning of optical fibers at the focal plane called ‘Starbugs’. The Starbug devices each consist of two concentric piezoelectric tubes that ‘walk’ the optical fiber over the focal plane to accuracy of several microns. Ongoing research has led to the development of several Starbug prototypes, but lack of performance data has hampered further progress in the design of the Starbug positioners and the support equipment required to power and control them. Furthermore, Starbugs have been selected for the TAIPAN instrument, a prototype for MANIFEST on the GMT. A need now arises to measure and characterize 100’s of piezoelectric tubes before full scale production of Starbugs for TAIPAN. The manual measurements of these piezoelectric tubes are a time consuming process taking several hours. Therefore, a versatile automated system is needed to measure and characterize these tubes in the laboratory before production of Starbugs. We have solved this problem with the design of an automated LabVIEW application that significantly reduces test times to several minutes. We present the various design aspects of the automation system and provide analyses of example piezoelectric tubes for Starbugs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2014
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 9147, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V, 91479K (28 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056964
Show Author Affiliations
Rafal Piersiak, Stony Brook Univ. (United States)
Michael Goodwin, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
James Gilbert, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Rolf Muller, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9147:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy V
Suzanne K. Ramsay; Ian S. McLean; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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