22 July 2016 Echidna Mark II: one giant leap for 'tilting spine' fibre positioning technology
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Abstract
The Australian Astronomical Observatory's 'tilting spine' fibre positioning technology has been redeveloped to provide superior performance in a smaller package. The new design offers demonstrated closed-loop positioning errors of <2.8 μm RMS in only five moves (~10 s excluding metrology overheads) and an improved capacity for open-loop tracking during observations. Tilt-induced throughput losses have been halved by lengthening spines while maintaining excellent accuracy. New low-voltage multilayer piezo actuator technology has reduced a spine's peak drive amplitude from ~150V to <10V, simplifying the control electronics design, reducing the system's overall size, and improving modularity. Every spine is now a truly independent unit with a dedicated drive circuit and no restrictions on the timing or direction of fibre motion.
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James Gilbert, Gavin Dalton, "Echidna Mark II: one giant leap for 'tilting spine' fibre positioning technology", Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 991221 (22 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231366; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231366
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