Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grilling the Faro

Today's Heritage Day - a public holiday that's become known as "Braai Day", in celebration of one of SA's favourite culinary traditions. It seems appropriate then that we should be grilling the AMNH Faro Arm, putting it through its paces in order to thoroughly characterise its performance...

An old alignment jig for the primary mirror mounts was converted into a test plate for the Faro.

The plate provides 3 different attachment locations for the Arm & 10 widely spaced points for making measurements. All 10 points were measured for each base position & readings were taken in continuous mode (which produces 1000 data points per measurement) while exercising all the Arm's encoders as much as possible for each point.

This required some rather fancy "langarm" dancing from James & generated over 100,000 data points (including calibration measurements) for us to crunch through & plot up...

Dealing with these volumes of data is time-consuming & can be quite mind-boggling, but we really need to know that this critical tool's working the way we expect & need it to.

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