AITC Adaptive Optics Test Bench

The AITC requires a generalised adaptive optics (AO) test bench in order to test experimental and research AO designs and technologies, as well as to verify AO instrumentation. The test bench will be built using in house optical components and be driven by software written in Python.

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This project is open for Bachelor and Honours students
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Contact name
Israel Vaughn
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This project will involve fully or partially building, controlling, writing software for, deploying, and testing an adaptive optics test bench. The test bench will consist of a number of optical turbulence production devices, including rotating phase plates and spatial light modulators. The bench may incorporate a deformable mirror, and will incorporate a standard Shack-Hartmann wavefront sensor as a reference sensor. This project aims to have a student help with the design, implementation, software implementation, and testing and verification of the AO test bench.

Optics experience or experience with python programming is desired, but not required. Student outcomes include:

  1. Proficiency in designing, building, and implementing optical components and systems in a lab environment.
  2. Understanding of adaptive optics and the problems and solutions in adaptive optics systems.
  3. Skill development in astronomical instrumentation, optics, and adaptive optics.
  4. Skill development in instrumentation control using python.
  5. Contribution to open source software for instrumentation control.
  6. Insight into prototyping optical and astronomical instrumentation systems.



Instrumentation Scientist

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Instrumentation Scientist

Instrument Scientist