Concepts for multi-IFU robotic positioning systems

Stan Miziarski*, Jurek Brzeski, Joss Bland Hawthorn, James Gilbert, Michael Goodwin, Jeroen Heijmans, Anthony Horton, Jon Lawrence, Will Saunders, Greg Smith, Nick Staszak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Following the successful commissioning of SAMI (Sydney-AAO Multi-object IFU) the AAO has undertaken concept studies leading to a design of a new instrument for the AAT (Hector). It will use an automated robotic system for the deployment of fibre hexabundles to the focal plane. We have analysed several concepts, which could be applied in the design of new instruments or as a retrofit to existing positioning systems. We look at derivatives of Starbugs that could handle a large fibre bundle as well as modifications to pick and place robots like 2dF or OzPoz. One concept uses large magnetic buttons that adhere to a steel field plate with substantial force. To move them we replace the gripper with a pneumatic device, which engages with the button and injects it with compressed air, thus forming a magnet preloaded air bearing allowing virtually friction-less repositioning of the button by a gantry or an R-Theta robot. New fibre protection, guiding and retraction systems are also described. These developments could open a practical avenue for the upgrade to a number of instruments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-Based Telescopes and Instrumentation II
EditorsRamón Navarro, Colin R. Cunningham, Eric Prieto
Place of PublicationBellingham, WA
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780819491510
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-Based Telescopes and Instrumentation II - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 1 Jul 20126 Jul 2012


OtherModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-Based Telescopes and Instrumentation II


  • 2dF
  • Hexabundles
  • Magnetic fibre buttons
  • Multi-IFU
  • OzPoz
  • Positioners
  • Robotic
  • SAMI
  • Starbugs


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