BS in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department
The Automatic Diffraction Grating project explored using said technology to measure the angular separation between binary stars. This system would be a dramatic improvement from the current, fixed and manually adjusted diffraction gratings in use, increasing the capability of observatories to conduct autonomous studies of binary systems. Ideally, realizing such a system would be accomplished using a simple design and off the shelf parts, so that the project could easily replicated. The design of this system was approached with a broad look at the possible mechanisms that could be used to effectively construct an Automatic Diffraction Grating, as well as extensive testing on the effectiveness of these systems. After a functional design and prototype system was developed, it was determined that while an Automatic Diffraction Grating system is feasible, achieving a precision design would require custom, precision machined parts.