Instrumentation Group

The AAO is a world leader in developing novel technologies for telescope instrumentation, in particular with optical fibre positioning systems. In addition to developing three radically different and world-leading fibre positioning technologies, it has collaborated on the development of "hexabundle" fibres for use in integral field spectrographs.
In order to achieve this, the Instrument Science and Instrumentation groups of the AAO utilize techniques and competencies such as:

  • Structural design
  • Mechanical fabrication i.e. standard milling, lathing and CNC, etc.
  • Solid Works 3D Modelling
  • Jigs, fixture and tooling design
  • Opto-mechanical mounting
  • Metrology e.g. CMM
  • Vibration analysis
  • Heat transfer modelling
  • Pneumatic systems
  • Hydraulic systems
  • Finite element analysis (FEA)
  • Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
  • Optical systems modelling including ZEMAX
  • Micron level alignment and testing
  • FRED scattered light analysis
  • Interferometry
  • Lens bench alignment and assembly of optical systems
  • Rsoft BPM
  • MATLAB/MathCAD/Labview
  • VPH testing
  • Fibre positioner design incorporating advanced robotics
  • Advanced Linux/Unix/TCL/TK, VBA/FORTRAN/C++/JAVA, Python, PERL
  • Data reduction/GPU/Open GL programming
  • Cryogenics design and detector development
  • FPGA/PLD/RF circuit design (ALTIUM)
  • Electronics assembly and testing
  • Motion control
  • Detector controller design/build