Component Testing of Adaptive Optics Tracking and Pushing System

Within the framework of the Space Environment Management Cooperative Research Centre, the ANU RSAA has partnered with EOS Space Systems to build a Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics system (LGS AO) for the 1.8 EOS telescope on Mount Stromlo. The system will improve satellite tracking and characterization capabilities as well as include a feature to push the debris with a high-power laser.

The successful applicant will join the ANU team and will participate in the design and testing of the Adaptive Optics Tracking and Pushing (AOTP) system. It is designed to aim a high-power laser at an object in a lower Earth orbit and perturb its orbit by means of photon pressure to prevent collitions of space debris and satellites in space. The system measures wavefront distortions of collected light caused by the atmosphere, corrects for them and propagates the high-power laser precompensated for those distortions through the atmosphere, so that the laser light arrives undistorted at the object in space.

The system is complex consisting of many optical and opto-mechanical components whose performance need to be tested. The successful applicant will support the performance measurements and engage in research activities to help find the cause and alternative components, if the performance of those components is not up to specifications.

A basic understanding of all, and experience preferably in more than one of the following disciplines is highly regarded: Optics, photonics, instrumentation, system and signal theory, signal processing, or mechanics.

For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.