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18 July 2014 Fibre positioning algorithms for the WEAVE spectrograph
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WEAVE is the next-generation wide-field optical spectroscopy facility for the William Herschel Telescope (WHT) in La Palma, Canary Islands, Spain. It is a multi-object "pick and place" fibre fed spectrograph with more than one thousand fibres, similar in concept to the Australian Astronomical Observatory's 2dF1 instrument with two observing plates, one of which is observing the sky while other is being reconfigured by a robotic fibre positioner. It will be capable of acquiring more than 10000 star or galaxy spectra a night. The WEAVE positioner concept uses two robots working in tandem in order to reconfigure a fully populated field within the expected 1 hour dwell-time for the instrument (a good match between the required exposure times and the limit of validity for a given configuration due to the effects of differential refraction). This presents additional constraints and complications for the software that determines the optimal path from one configuration to the next, particularly given the large number of fibre crossings implied by the 1000 fibre multiplex. This paper describes the algorithms and programming techniques used in the prototype implementations of the field configuration tool and the fibre positioner robot controller developed to support the detailed design of WEAVE.
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David L. Terrett, Ian J. Lewis, Gavin Dalton, Don Carlos Abrams, J. Alfonso L. Aguerri, Piercarlo Bonifacio, Kevin Middleton, and Scott C. Trager "Fibre positioning algorithms for the WEAVE spectrograph", Proc. SPIE 9152, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy III, 91520P (18 July 2014);

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