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 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.
|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).