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Proceedings Paper

Six degrees of freedom, sub-micrometer positioning system for secondary mirrors
Author(s): Ryan C. Sneed; Michael F. Cash; Trevor S. Chambers; Paul C. Janzen
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Paper Abstract

Secondary mirrors for large ground-based telescopes often require positioning systems with payload capacities around 1000 kg, relative accuracies within a few micrometers, and resonant frequencies above 15 Hz. A suitable six-legged parallel manipulator, or hexapod, has been developed for sub-micron level positioning of large optical payloads in six degrees of freedom. This 1000 kg class hexapod has tip/tilt rotational ranges of ±1800 arcsec, relative accuracies within 1%, and resolutions of better than ±0.2 arcsec, along with a piston translational range of ±30 mm, relative accuracy within 1%, and resolution of better than ±1 μm. The center of rotation of the system may be placed at an arbitrary location within the overall range limitations. The axial stiffness of each of the six actuators tested greater than 100 N/μm. The actuators use high precision roller screws and employ two degree of freedom universal end-joints. The preload on the joints eliminates backlash due to transitions from tension to compression and maintains friction moment of <10 Nm. An additional rotational degree of freedom is allowed in the body of the actuator to achieve the proper kinematic constraints for the motion platform. The actuators have power-off hold capability to protect against power loss and reduce heat dissipation. Overall heat dissipation has been measured and techniques have been studied to reduce its impact. The paper describes the actuator design and hexapod performance in support of planned use in ground test and validation of the James Webb Space Telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 4 August 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7733, Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III, 77332R (4 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857793
Show Author Affiliations
Ryan C. Sneed, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Michael F. Cash, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Trevor S. Chambers, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)
Paul C. Janzen, CSA Engineering, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7733:
Ground-based and Airborne Telescopes III
Larry M. Stepp; Roberto Gilmozzi; Helen J. Hall, Editor(s)

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