30 September 2004 Echidna: the engineering challenges
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Abstract
The Anglo-Australian Observatory's (AAO's) FMOS-Echidna project is for the Fiber Multi-Object Spectroscopy system for the Subaru Telescope. It includes three parts: the 400-fiber positioning system, the focal plane imager (FPI) and the prime focus corrector. The Echidna positioner concept and the role of the AAO in the FMOS project have been described in previous SPIE proceedings. The many components for the system are now being manufactured, after prototype tests have demonstrated that the required performance will be achieved. In this paper, the techniques developed to overcome key mechanical and electronic engineering challenges for the positioner and the FPI are described. The major performance requirement is that all 400 science fiber cores and up to 14 guide fiber bundles are to be re-positioned to an accuracy of 10μm within 10 minutes. With the fast prime focus focal ratio, a close tolerance on the axial position of the fiber tips must also be held so efficiency does not suffer from de-focus. Positioning accuracy is controlled with the help of the FPI, which measures the positions of the fiber tips to an accuracy of a few μm and allows iterative positioning. Maintaining fiber tips sufficiently co-planar requires accurate control in the assembly of the several components that contribute to such errors. Assembly jigs have been developed and proven adequate for this purpose. Attaining high reliability in an assembly with many small components of disparate materials bonded together, including piezo ceramics, carbon fiber reinforced plastic, hardened steel, and electrical circuit boards, has entailed careful selection and application of cements and tightly controlled soldering for electrical connections.
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Jurek K. Brzeski, Peter Gillingham, David Correll, John Dawson, Anna Marie Moore, Rolf Muller, Scott Smedley, Greg A. Smith, "Echidna: the engineering challenges", Proc. SPIE 5492, Ground-based Instrumentation for Astronomy, (30 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550963; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.550963
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