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Proceedings Paper

Starbug: enabling the smart focal plane
Author(s): Andrew McGrath; Anna Moore
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Paper Abstract

We propose a new robotic system for positioning payloads such as pickoff mirrors, fibres or deployable IFUs on telescope focal planes. Based on a combination of concepts used in existing fibre positioning systems, the proposed system retains the advantages of each type of existing positioner, while eliminating many of the disadvantages. It employs micro-robotic actuators to independently and simultaneously position an arbitrary number of small payloads accurately on an arbitrarily large field plate and offers a cost-effective and multiply-redundant design for payload positioning systems suitable for use at Cassegrain or Nasmyth foci of large telescopes. Operation in cryogenic environments, positioning accuracies of a few microns, simultaneous movement of arbitrary numbers of positioners and the removal of many movement constraints are some of the advantages offered. We demonstrate a prototype positioner for the system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 September 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5495, Astronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology, (29 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550292
Show Author Affiliations
Andrew McGrath, Anglo-Australian Observatory (Australia)
Anna Moore, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5495:
Astronomical Structures and Mechanisms Technology
Joseph Antebi; Dietrich Lemke, Editor(s)

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