Recent testing of a micro autonomous positioning system for multiobject instrumentation

William Cochrane, David Atkinson, Tom Baille, Colin Dickson, Theodore Lim, Xichun Luo, David Montgomery, Hermine Schnetler, William Taylor, Brian Wilson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution


A multiple pick off mirror positioning system has been developed as a solution for the deployment of mirrors within multi-object instrumentation such as the EAGLE instrument in the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The positioning system is a two wheeled differential drive robot with a footprint of approximately 20 x 20mm. Controlled by RF communications the robot operates through a single cell rechargeable battery. The robot uses two brushless DC motors with 125:1 planetary gear heads for positioning in the coarse drive stages. This report will detail the open looped linear testing that has been conducted on the coarse positioning system to characterize the system. Results from the linear testing has also been used to describe the rotational properties of the coarse drive positioning system of the robot and will indicate the need for a fine positioning system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012
Subtitle of host publicationModern Technologies in Space- and Ground-based Telescopes and Instrumentation II
EditorsRamón Navarro, Colin R. Cunningham, Eric Prieto
ISBN (Print)9780819491510
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Micro robots
  • Multi-object instrumentation
  • Astronomy


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