Technology

KMOS Pick-off arms

The 24 Pick-off Arms within KMOS will feed 24 Integral Field Units which will enable KMOS to be used to study the spectra of 24 astronomical objects simultaneously. For example, in order to study multiple galaxies in a cluster in order to understand more about how the galaxies were formed. The pick-off arms can be positioned anywhere within the focal plane of the telescope to an accuracy of +/- 50 microns and are mechanically stiff enough to hold position irrespective of the way the telescope moves when it tracks, while working at temperatures below 90K (-183C). Very low temperatures are necessary to permit infra-red imaging, ie the detection of low levels of heat. The key challenge was to design the pick-of arms to be sufficiently compact to minimise the area obscured by mechanical parts while at the same time working reliably at very low temperatures, throughout the operational life of KMOS.


Engineers in the cleanroom

Engineers in the clean room.


Beam splitter for MIRI

Beam splitter for MIRI, the mid-infrared instrument, for the James Webb Space Telescope.


Componants for MIRI

Components for MIRI.


MIRI in the clean room

MIRI is assembled in the clean room.


Prototype something

EAGLE is a Multi-Object Spectrometer which has been designed for the E-ELT by an Anglo-French collaboration. In order to select sub-fields accurate Pick Off Mirror positioning is required. Micro Autonomous Positioning System is a proposed method to mount the mirrors on wireless micro robots which can be arranged into any desired configuration. A demonstrator is being developed by the UK ATC to show all the required functionality of the MAPS robots.


Star-Picker

Star-Picker is a system for placing small optics in the focal plane of a telescope in order to relay light from these often faint objects to the detectors.