Starbugs field-allocation simulations for FOBOS

Michael Goodwin, David Adams, Kevin Bundy, Renate Kupke, Celestina S. Lacombe, Jon Lawrence, Nuria P. F. Lorente, Nick MacDonald, Helen McGregor, Ellie O'Brien, Claire Poppett, Lew Waller, Kyle B. Westfall, Jessica Zheng

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

1 Citation (Scopus)


Starbugs are robotic devices that have the capability to simultaneously position many optical fibers, over the telescope’s focal plane to carry-out efficient spectroscopic surveys. The conceptual design of FOBOS, the Fiber-Optic Broadband Optical Spectrograph, deploys Starbugs at the Keck II focal plane to enable high-multiplex, deep spectroscopic follow-up of upcoming deep-imaging surveys. FOBOS requires configured fields of many-hundreds of targets (significantly more than TAIPAN and MANIFEST instruments) in a few minutes, consistent with typical detector readout times. FOBOS also requires the inclusion of different optical payloads, like integral field-units, calibration bundles, coherent imaging bundles and perhaps wavefront sensors. Therefore, with these new challenges, it is important to optimize the target allocation and routing algorithms for Starbugs that yield the best configuration times and science outcomes for FOBOS. We provide a description of the Starbug parameters required by the FOBOS conceptual design, perform relevant allocation simulations, and discuss their performance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Julia J. Bryant, Kentaro Motohara
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636828
ISBN (Print)9781510636811
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2020
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII - Virtual, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202022 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Starbugs
  • Focal plane positioner
  • Field-allocation


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