It's alive! Performance and control of prototype Starbug actuators

Roger Haynes, Andrew McGrath, Jurek Brzeski, David Correll, Gabriella Frost, Peter Gillingham, Stan Miziarski, Rolf Muller, Scott Smedley

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

6 Citations (Scopus)


As part of the Starbug development, a range of actuator technologies have been prototyped and trialled in the quest to develop this novel focal plane positioning system. The Starbug concept is a robotic positioning system that deploys multiple payloads, such as pickoff optics, optical fibres and other possible devices to micron level accuracy over a flat or curved focal plane. The development is aimed at addressing some of the limitations of other positioning systems to provide a reliable, cost effective way of positioning multiple payloads in ambient and cryogenic environments. In this paper we identify the specification and required characteristics of the micro-robotic actuators as applied to the MOMSI instrument concept, present descriptions of some of the prototypes along with the results from characterisation and performance tests. These tests were undertaken at various orientations and temperatures as well as using different actuator concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptomechanical Technologies for Astronomy
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventOptomechanical Technologies for Astronomy - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: 24 May 200631 May 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceOptomechanical Technologies for Astronomy
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL


  • Focal plane positioning
  • Micro-actuators
  • Multi-object imaging and spectroscopy
  • Robotic positioner
  • Starbug


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