Starbugs to make astronomy surveys faster and more efficient

Today, Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja officially launched TAIPAN – a new world-class spectroscopic instrument at the Siding Spring Observatory in Coonabarabran, New South Wales.

This instrument consists of a positioning system using mini-robots called Starbugs and a dedicated new spectrograph. Starbugs are mini-robots that rapidly and accurately align the optical fibres of a telescope to target stars and galaxies.

This world-first technology makes astronomical surveys faster and more efficient by using hundreds of Starbugs to cut down a telescope’s configuration time from an hour to two or three minutes.

The TAIPAN will now provide the most complete survey of southern hemisphere stars and galaxies ever undertaken.

The Australian Government has invested $7 million in the TAIPAN facility in the last five years.

The TAIPAN instrument has been designed by the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) for the UK Schmidt Telescope (UKST).

Read the media release - TAIPAN give astronomers a bigger bite at the universe

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