Field target allocation and routing algorithms for starbugs

Michael Goodwin, Nuria P.F. Lorente, Christophe Satorre, Sungwook E. Hong, Kyler Kuehn, Jon S. Lawrence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

7 Citations (Scopus)


Starbugs are miniaturised robotic devices that position optical fibres over a telescope's focal plane in parallel operation for high multiplex spectroscopic surveys. The key advantage of the Starbug positioning system is its potential to configure fields of hundreds of targets in a few minutes, consistent with typical detector readout times. Starbugs have been selected as the positioning technology for the TAIPAN (Transforming Astronomical Imaging surveys through Polychromatic Analysis of Nebulae) instrument, a prototype for MANIFEST (Many Instrument Fiber System) on the GMT (Giant Magellan Telescope). TAIPAN consists of a 150-fibre Starbug positioner accessing the 6 degree field-ofview of the AAO's UK Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. For TAIPAN, it is important to optimise the target allocation and routing algorithms to provide the fastest configurations times. We present details of the algorithms and results of the simulated performance.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSoftware and cyberinfrastructure for astronomy III
EditorsGianluca Chiozzi, Nicole M. Radziwill
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780819496201
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy III - Montreal, QC, Canada
Duration: 22 Jun 201426 Jun 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherSoftware and Cyberinfrastructure for Astronomy III
CityMontreal, QC


  • Routing
  • Starbugs
  • Target Allocation

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