Client Information

The Navy Precision Optical Interferometer (NPOI) is an American astronomical interferometer, with the world's largest baselines, operated by the Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station in collaboration with the Naval Research Laboratory.

The facility is located at Anderson Mesa, Flagstaff, AZ 86001.

The Members of Project Clarity

Our Project Goal

The inferometer has long pipelines of optics and mirrors that redirect the light taken in. Periodically, for optimal performance, the optical mirrors across the array have to be realigned. The optical feed system is mainly in a vacuum, therefore small motors are used to tip or tilt the mirrors into alignment. An alignment telescope is used to bring small LED targets into focus, while an engineer tips and tilts the mirrors to move the LED targets into the center of the alignment telescope. The issue with this current process is that it requires the engineer to manually look through a camera, make a guess on how to align the mirrors, walk over to the adjustment controls, and adjust the mirrors. This current process is tedious, time consuming, and unreliable as it relies heavily on the engineer's vision which can be subjective. Our team has created a program that allows the engineer to view a camera feed of the alignment system. The program will find the proper alignment needed and instruct the engineer on what adjustments to make to perfectly align the system. This will remove any variance between different engineers as well as eliminate guesswork or estimates with the alignment. With the system in place, it will allow for perfect alignment of the system's lenses every time.

Initial Project Description

The assigned project description from NPOI can be found here.