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6 July 2006 A scalable pick-off technology for multi-object instruments
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Multi-object instruments provide an increasing challenge for pick-off technology (the means by which objects are selected in the focal plane and fed to sub-instruments such as integral field spectrographs). We have developed a technology demonstrator for a new pick-off system. The performance requirements for the demonstrator have been driven by the outline requirements for possible ELT instruments and the science requirements based on an ELT science case. The goals for the pick-off include that the system should capable of positioning upwards of one hundred pick-off mirrors to an accuracy better than 5 microns. Additionally, the system should be able to achieve this for a curved focal surface -- in this instance with a radius of curvature of 2m. This paper presents the first experimental results from one of the approaches adopted within the Smart Focal Plane project -- that of a Planetary Positioning System. This pick-and place system is so called because it uniquely uses a combination of three rotation stages to place a magnetically mounted pick-off mirror at any position and orientation on the focal surface. A fixed angular offset between the two principal rotation stages ensures that the pick-off mirror is always placed precisely perpendicular to the curved focal plane. The pick-off mirror is gripped and released by a planar micromechanical mechanism which is lowered and raised by a coil-actuated linear stage.
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Peter Hastings, Suzanne Ramsay Howat, Peter Spanoudakis, Raymond van den Brink, Callum Norrie, David Clarke, K. Laidlaw, S. McLay, Johan Pragt, Hermine Schnetler, and L. Zago "A scalable pick-off technology for multi-object instruments", Proc. SPIE 6273, Optomechanical Technologies for Astronomy, 62732X (6 July 2006);


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