Developed by scientists at Berkeley Lab, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a machine that’s equipped with 5,000 individual fiber positioning robots. Each robot is tasked with moving a single fiber that targets one galaxy at a time.
All these robots working together allows for parallel surveying of the universe, measuring light data of 5,000 galaxies every twenty minutes, according to Joseph Silber, DESI focal plane lead engineer at Berkeley Lab, in the video post.
Ten petals make up DESI’s focal plane, with each being a 36-degree wedge and equipped with 500 robots. Together, about 600,000 different parts will be packaged and assembled together in the circular focal plane, according to Silber. It will be mounted on the Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in 2019.
In the end, DESI “will measure the effect of dark energy on the expansion of the universe. It will obtain optical spectra for tens of millions of galaxies and quasars, constructing a 3D map spanning the nearby universe to 11 billion light years,” according the DESI website.
You can learn more about DESI in the video below.