MICROSCOPES AND TELESCOPES
We know quite a lot about space already, but surprisingly little about the Milky Way. Since our solar system belongs to this galaxy, we quite literally cannot see the wood for the trees: In many places, our view is obstructed by other stars. The MOONS telescope is intended to help fill the gaps in our knowledge. Its 1001 optical fibers are moved by HT-GEAR drives and oriented directly toward the research objects in the center of the galaxy.
The first telescope was built in 1608 by the Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lipperhey, and later improved by Galileo Galilei. Since then, humankind has been trying to find out all it can about things that cannot be seen with the naked eye, from stars and space to the smallest objects in the world. We do not know who invented the first microscope, but it is thought to be someone else in the Netherlands around the same time that the telescope was developed.
The target objects of the microscope and the telescope could hardly be more different, but in terms of optics and technology there are many similarities between the two devices. Even though the large telescopes now used to examine space are often massive systems, they are still based on the extremely precise adjustment of optical elements – as are microscopes. This is where the highly precise drives from HT-GEAR come into play.
For example, in the MOONS telescope, they comprise stepper motors with a zero-backlash gearhead that are integrated in a mechanical two-axle module from the HT-GEAR subsidiary mps (micro precision systems). They align the optical fibers with an accuracy of 0.2 degrees and achieve a positional repeatability down to 20 microns, with a planned service life of ten years. The sample mount Oasis Glide-S1 for precision microscopy is moved with virtually no backlash or vibration by two linear DC-servomotors with a spindle drive.