The following images show some of the stages in the construction of SPIRAL.
Figure 2: The 16 groups of fibres are inserted into the protective conduit (the large black tube). The grey box and the smaller diameter conduit belong to SPIRAL-A.
Figure 3: The AAO laboratory where the optical fibres are polished. The blue machine on the right of the photograph is the polishing machine. The polishing jig which we use to polish the small slitlets can be seen near the centre (the circular metal object). During polishing the fibres are regularly inspected using the microscope. Polishing proceeds in the following order: 2000 grit wet and dry paper, 6 micron diamond slurry on a copper plate, 1 micron diamond slurry on a tin/lead plate, and finally colloidal silica solution on a chemical cloth.
Figure 4: The output slit polishing jig. A slitlet can be seen mounted in the centre of the polishing jig. The slitlet contains 32 fibres in a linear array. The spacing between the fibres is 115 microns.
Figure 7: The prototype input array and polishing jig. The input array, which contains a grid of 32x16 optical fibres, is the rectangle within the polishing jig.
Figure 8: The SPIRAL input array during application of
the adhesive. The black tube is the conduit. The red furcation tubes contain
the optical fibres. The fibres are the brown threads that enter the input
Figure 9: The input array. The lower brass plate is the microhole array. The upper brass plate is used to support the metal ferrules. Each ferrule contains a polyimide tube and the fibre is within the polyimide tube. The fibres can be seen protruding from the bottom of the microhole array. The adhesive (Epotek 301-2) is poured into the plastic container to secure the fibres in place.
Figure 10: David Lee removing excess glue from the input array (note the large file!) prior to polishing.
Figure 11: The fibre input array after polishing prior
to attaching the microlens array. The fibres are the coloured dots and
all 512 can be seen illuminated. This photograph was taken by illuminating
the fibres at the output slit through coloured glass filters. Note the
excess glue around the edges of the array.
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