Joseph Jeffrey Curamen came to the Akamai program while he was a student at Maui Community College, pursuing an A.S. degree from the Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology program. He was an Akamai intern for two summers.  His first summer he traveled to W.M. Keck Observatory, and the second year and he worked with Mark Hoffman along with a CfAO graduate student, Mark Ammons, to develop an AO demonstrator for Maui Community College.  After receiving his A.S. degree he accepted a position at Gemini Observatory on the island of Hawaii where he currently works as a full time telescope technician.  Joseph plans to transfer to the University of Illinois in the future and pursue a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

Home Island: Maui
High School:
Institution when accepted: Maui Community College

Akamai Project: The Analysis and Preventive Maintenance Procedures of the Motor for the Adaptive Optics System
Project Site: Keck Observatories
Mentors: Jason Chin and Sarah Anderson

Project Abstract:

The Adaptive Optics (AO) systems of Keck I & II correct the blurring of images caused by the turbulence of the Earth’s atmosphere. The AO systems are housed in a clean room environment in order keep dust from affecting the performance of its lenses and mirrors. The room also maintained at a cold temperature to avoid heat which can cause turbulence. The AO systems need to have preventive maintenance procedures to avoid the malfunctioning of the systems and to maintain the equipment at peak performance. The AO systems in the Keck’s telescopes consist of ~31 stages, and each stage has a motor, a mounting system, an encoder, and lens or mirror. The stages of the AO systems are controlled by Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Close Loop Control System for positioning movements. The objectives of the stages are to focus the beam exactly on the other lens or mirror and also steer the beam while the AO systems are tracking an object in the sky, to position accurately relative to its time, and positioning repeatability. The performance of the stages can be degraded by static friction caused by lack of oil on the ball screw which can cause of hard movement to be impeded when positioning the lens or mirror. The stages can be disrupted by loose or tight objects that block the pathway of the load while moving. Mechanisms of the stages have finite lifetime and continued up? grades on the AO bench to improve its capabilities affect their performance and reliabilities.