Back to Volume
Paper: Steering Starbugs- Routing Autonomous Fiber Positioners for TAIPAN
Volume: 527, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIX
Page: 729
Authors: Fernando, N.; Bacigalupo, C.; Farrell, T. J.; Lorente, N. P. F.
Abstract: The Australian Astronomical Observatory's TAIPAN instrument deploys 159 Starbug robots to position optical fibers to accuracies of 0.5 arcsec, on a 32 cm glass field plate on the focal plane of the 1.2 m UK-Schmidt telescope. This paper describes the software system developed to control and monitor the Starbugs, with particular emphasis on the automated path-finding algorithms, and the metrology software which keeps track of the position and motion of individual Starbugs as they independently move in a crowded field. The software employs a tiered approach to find a collision-free path for every Starbug, from its current position to its target location. This consists of three path-finding stages of increasing complexity and computational cost. For each Starbug a path is attempted using a simple method. If unsuccessful, subsequently more complex (and expensive) methods are tried until a valid path is found or the target is tagged as unreachable.
Back to Volume