273 Precision Actuators for SALT, the Largest Segmented Mirror Telescope in the Southern Hemisphere
273 Precision Actuators for the Largest Telescope in the Southern Hemisphere
PI is currently delivering custom high-resolution actuators and controllers for SALT (Southern African Large Telescope). According to officials, SALT is the largest single telescope in the southern hemisphere with a hexagonal mirror array 11 meters across and "will be able to record distant stars, galaxies and quasars a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye - as faint as a candle flame at the distance of the moon".
Testbench for one actuator cluster. A total of 9 clusters will control the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere. These custom actuators and controllers are based on PI's 30+ years of nano-motion-control experience.
Reliable control of all 273 axes is based on 9 custom PI C-880 multi-axis automation controllers (here shown with a multi-axis fiber alignment stages) custom interfacing and software.
The actuators, a custom version of the heavy duty
M-235 ball screw DC Mike are driven by 9 custom PI
C-880 multi-axis automation controllers custom interfacing and software.
The decision to use the PI actuators and controllers was made for the following reasons:
- Superior actuator performance and compliance with strict accuracy requirements even under adverse environmental conditions, as found in comparative testing performed by SALT engineers.
- Minimum risk, because of PI's proven track record.
- Reasonable price
- PI's ability to meet the tight delivery schedule.
PI has also deliverd 6 DOF hexapods, piezo actuators and fast steering mirrors for a number
of large telescopes around the world.
|Secondary Hexapod Alignment System and Active secondary tip/tilt mirror for the NASA Infrared
Telescope Facility (IRTF) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii
||Active tip/tilt mirror for Subaru Telescope(Mauna Kea, Hawaii).