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2 August 2016 AAO Starbugs: software control and associated algorithms
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The Australian Astronomical Observatory's TAIPAN instrument deploys 150 Starbug robots to position optical fibres to accuracies of 0.3 arcsec, on a 32 cm glass field plate on the focal plane of the 1.2 m UK-Schmidt telescope. This paper describes the software system developed to control and monitor the Starbugs, with particular emphasis on the automated path-finding algorithms, and the metrology software which keeps track of the position and motion of individual Starbugs as they independently move in a crowded field. The software employs a tiered approach to find a collision-free path for every Starbug, from its current position to its target location. This consists of three path-finding stages of increasing complexity and computational cost. For each Starbug a path is attempted using a simple method. If unsuccessful, subsequently more complex (and expensive) methods are tried until a valid path is found or the target is flagged as unreachable.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Nuria P. F. Lorente, Minh V. Vuong, Keith Shortridge, Tony J. Farrell, Scott Smedley, Sungwook E. Hong, Carlos Bacigalupo, Michael Goodwin, Kyler Kuehn, and Christophe Satorre "AAO Starbugs: software control and associated algorithms", Proc. SPIE 9913, Software and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy IV, 99130U (2 August 2016);

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