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30 September 2004 Two axes fully elastic pointing mechanism at microarcsec resolution
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The European Southern Observatory (ESO) is presently developing the PRIMA facility (Phase Referenced Imaging and Microarcsecond Astronomy). PRIMA will enable the observation of very faint celestial objects. A key element in this facility is the Star Separator that has been designed and is being built by TNO TPD in the Netherlands. This Star Separator makes it possible in principle to simultaneously observe two objects, the guide star and the faint object, with one telescope. The separation of the faint object and the guide star is case dependent i.e. the separation between the two objects depends on the observation direction. This necessitates the use of a very accurate and stable pointing mechanism. The required repeatability of such mechanism is < 0.5 arcsec while its resolution should be < 0.1 arcsec. By using a statically determined fully elastic guiding and actuation mechanism in combination with closed loop driven piezos the realization of such mechanism was successful. A unique feature of the mechanism is that only the guiding/actuating mechanism needed to be designed. The rest is readily available from piezo suppliers. This makes this pointing mechanism a true low budget solution with excellent performance.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Jan R. Nijenhuis, Peter Giesen, and Francoise Delplancke "Two axes fully elastic pointing mechanism at microarcsec resolution", Proc. SPIE 5528, Space Systems Engineering and Optical Alignment Mechanisms, (30 September 2004);

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