5,000 Robots Merge to Map the Universe in 3-D

How do you create the largest 3-D map of the universe? It’s as easy as teaching 5,000 robots how to “dance.” DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, is an experiment that will target millions of distant galaxies by automatically swiveling fiber-optic positioners (the robots) to point at them and gather their light.

Scientists working at Berkeley Lab are assembling this array of robots and their related electronics – together representing into a series of 10 wedge-shaped petals that will be fitted together to form a circular focal plane.

The focal plane will be mounted near the top of the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona.

This 3-minute video features interviews with two Berkeley Lab scientists:

Joseph Silber, Focal Plane Lead Engineer, DESI

Claire Poppett, Lead Fiber Scientist for DESI


Lawrence Berkeley National Lab/KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/Marilyn Chung

About the Video

Release date:Dec. 20, 2020, 3:07 a.m.
Duration:03 m 01 s
Frame rate:29.97

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