PAVO@CHARA had its real beginnings when during the New York meeting in March 2007, Hal McAlister expressed interest in using some Keck funding to move the project forward. Planning began in April-August, with serious work beginning after the CDR on August 23, 2007. First fringes occurred in March, 2008 and several publications are in preparation.

General Documentation

Observing Manual

Many versions exist. This is the up-to-date manual maintained by Gail:

Local Sydney version (outdated):

Unknown super outdated PDF version: pavo_user.pdf


Since roughly May 2013 until 4 June 2013 when Nils installed an ethernet card, PAVO has had an intermittent network problem. This has made us realise that we need documentation on how to bring the computer up from scratch. The most custom hardware is the PCI card that runs the PAVO computer.
  • The driver directly writes to memory, so the grub.conf file needs a line like "mem=1020M" in it. Originally, the PAVO camera only worked with particular values of this parameter. There needs to be about 4 MB of space between this parameter and the edge of the computer's memory (in principle 2 MB is fine). e.g. the old working kernel had "kernel /vmlinuz- ro root=/dev/VolGroup00/LogVol00 rhgb quiet mem=1020M".
  • The startup script needed to source the andor driver loading file with "sh /etc/andordrvlx_load DMA_MODE=1".
  • The other peripherals (filter wheel and zaber stage) were controlled through 2 serial ports, "/dev/ttyS0" and "/dev/ttyS1". At SUSI, each of these serial ports have been successfully controlled by a USB to serial converter, so this is not a critical requirement for any PAVO replacement computer.

Pictures and Drawings

A schematic of the PAVO layout in the in the CHARA Array Beam Combination LAB (north is left).

Picture of the dichroics (left, foreground) and M1 (right, foreground):

Picture L2 (on the foreground, on ZABER XY mounts), M2 (background), prisms array and spatial filters masks (on a ZABER mount as well).

Picture of the output optics (from right to left): Filter wheel, re-imaging lens, lenslets array, imaging lens, prism, focusing lens and CCD: