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Paper: March of the Starbugs: Configuring Fiber-bearing Robots on the UK-Schmidt Optical Plane
Volume: 495, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXIV (ADASS XXIV)
Page: 265
Authors: Lorente, N. P. F.; Vuong, M.; Satorre, C.; Hong, S. E.; Shortridge, K.; Goodwin, M.; Kuehn, K.
Abstract: The TAIPAN instrument, currently being developed for the Australian Astronomical Observatory's UK Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, makes use of the AAO's Starbug technology to deploy 150 science fibers to target positions on the optical plane. This paper describes the software system for controlling and deploying the fiber-bearing Starbug robots. The TAIPAN software is responsible for allocating each Starbug to its next target position based on its current position and the distribution of targets, finding a collision-free path for each Starbug, and then simultaneously controlling the Starbug hardware in a closed loop, with a metrology camera used to determine the position of each Starbug in the field during reconfiguration. The software is written in C++ and Java and employs a DRAMA middleware layer (Farrell et al. 1995).
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