TAIPAN instrument fibre positioner and Starbug robots: engineering overview

Nicholas F. Staszak, Jon Lawrence, David M. Brown, Rebecca Brown, Ross Zhelem, Michael Goodwin, Kyler Kuehn, Nuria P F Lorente, Vijay Nichani, Lew Waller, Scott Case, Robert Content, Andrew M. Hopkins, Urs Klauser, Naveen Pai, Rolf Mueller, Slavko Mali, Minh V. Vuong

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

12 Citations (Scopus)
312 Downloads (Pure)


TAIPAN will conduct a stellar and galaxy survey of the Southern sky. The TAIPAN positioner is being developed as a prototype for the MANIFEST instrument on the GMT. The design for TAIPAN incorporates 150 optical fibres (with an upgrade path to 300) situated within independently controlled robotic positioners known as Starbugs. Starbugs allow precise parallel positioning of individual fibres, thus significantly reducing instrument configuration time and increasing the amount of observing time. Presented is an engineering overview of the UKST upgrade of the completely new Instrument Spider Assembly utilized to support the Starbug Fibre Positioning Robot and current status of the Starbug itself.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in optical and mechanical technologies for telescopes and instrumentation II
EditorsRamón Navarro, James H. Burge
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781510602045
ISBN (Print)9781510602038
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes
EventAdvances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 26 Jun 20161 Jul 2016

Publication series

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


OtherAdvances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Fibre positioning systems
  • GMT
  • Starbugs
  • UKST


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