Office: RLM 16.332
Phone: (512) 471-1469
Office: RLM 16.312
Phone: (512) 471-8275
Office: RLM 17.330
Phone: (512) 471-3427
This course teaches the fundamentals of the design and construction of experimental apparatus using astronomical
instruments as the model for the process. We will cover key aspects of some of the most important topics in the field: optics
and optical design, mechanical design and machining, electronics design and fabrication, real-time computer control, project
planning, and performance analysis. Since we cannot teach you everything you need to know in a single semester, we will try to equip
you with enough background to be able to continue learning on your own.
1.1. Overall Objectives
By the end of the course, you should have a concrete knowledge of many of the essentials of instrumentation.
You should be able to plan out, schedule, and organize an instrumentation project and have some idea of what
goes into a project budget. You should understand the steps involved in the mechanical, optical, software, and
electronics design. You should have a good working knowledge of where to obtain information you need for your
project in each of these areas. You should have concrete knowledge of computer aided design (CAD) programs
for mechanical design (AutoCad), electronics design and simulation (Circuit Maker), and optical design and
simulation (Zemax). You will know how to do basic work with hand tools and with machine shop equipment. You
will be able to assemble and understand some electronics circuits and be able to use laboratory equipment to
test them. You will know the fundamentals of optical design and be able to design and build a grating
spectrometer. You will be able to use LabView to interface an instrument to a computer.