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Proceedings Paper

Advances in the Echidna fiber-positioning technology
Author(s): Andrew Sheinis; Will Saunders; Peter Gillingham; Tony J. Farrell; Rolf Muller; Scott Smedley; Jurek Brzeski; Lewis G. Waller; James Gilbert; Greg Smith
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Paper Abstract

We present advances in the patented Echidna 'tilting spine' fiber positioner technology that has been in operation since 2007 on the SUBARU telescope in the FMOS system. The new Echidna technology is proposed to be implemented on two large fiber surveys: the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) (5000 fibers) as well the Australian ESO Positioner (AESOP) for 4MOST, a spectroscopic survey instrument for the VISTA telescope (~2500 fibers). The new 'superspine' actuators are stiffer, longer and more accurate than their predecessors. They have been prototyped at AAO, demonstrating reconfiguration times of ~15s for errors of <5 microns RMS. Laboratory testing of the prortotype shows accurate operation at temperatures of -10 to +30C, with an average heat output of 200 microwatts per actuator during reconfiguration. Throughput comparisons to other positioner types are presented, and we find that losses due to tilt will in general be outweighed by increased allocation yield and reduced fiber stress FRD. The losses from spine tilt are compensated by the gain in allocation yield coming from the greater patrol area, and quantified elsewhere in these proceedings. For typical tilts, f-ratios and collimator overspeeds, Echidna offers a clear efficiency gain versus current r-that or theta-phi positioners.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 July 2014
PDF: 23 pages
Proc. SPIE 9151, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, 91511X (28 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2057126
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew Sheinis, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Will Saunders, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Peter Gillingham, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Tony J. Farrell, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Rolf Muller, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Scott Smedley, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Jurek Brzeski, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Lewis G. Waller, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
James Gilbert, Univ. of Oxford (United Kingdom)
Greg Smith, 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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