Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name

BS in Mechanical Engineering




Peter Schuster


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.