2dF Instrument

The Two Degree Field (2dF) robotic positioning system is a very complex astronomical instrument.  The robot positioner has a gripper claw that picks up the magnetic mount at the end of each optical fibre and places it into its position on a metal field plate with a precision of 0.3 arcseconds on the sky. There are two field plates that each have 392 fibres to position, which means 392 spectra can be taken at once!  While one field plate is observing astronomical objects, the robot works to position the fibres on the other plate. Each plate takes only about 45 minutes to complete, which helps to maximise precious observing time. The 2dF system is used in conjunction with the AAOmega spectrograph and the HERMES spectrograph

You can read more about the 2dF and AAOmega instruments here: https://www.aao.gov.au/science/instruments/current/AAOmega

      An image of the 2df optic fibre positioning robot

The 2dF robotic arm configuring a field plate with optical fibres. Image: Ángel R. López-Sánchez 

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