March of the starbugs

Configuring fiber-bearing robots on the UK-Schmidt optical plane

Nuria P. F. Lorente, Minh Vuong, Christophe Satorre, Sungwook E. Hong, Keith Shortridge, Michael Goodwin, Kyler Kuehn

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


The TAIPAN instrument, currently being developed for the Australian Astronomical Observatory's UK Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, makes use of the AAO's Starbug technology to deploy 150 science fibers to target positions on the optical plane. This paper describes the software system for controlling and deploying the fiber-bearing Starbug robots. The TAIPAN software is responsible for allocating each Starbug to its next target position based on its current position and the distribution of targets, finding a collision-free path for each Starbug, and then simultaneously controlling the Starbug hardware in a closed loop, with a metrology camera used to determine the position of each Starbug in the field during reconfiguration. The software is written in C++ and Java and employs a DRAMA middleware layer (Farrell et al. 1995).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAstronomical data analysis software and systems XXIV
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of a meeting held at Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 5-9 October 2014
EditorsA. R. Taylor, E. Rosolowsky
Place of PublicationSan Francisco, CA
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781583818756
ISBN (Print)9781583818749
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAstronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific

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