Astrophotonics

At the Advanced Instrumentation Technology Centre, Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics (RSAA), a group of about 20 engineers and scientists are designing and building astronomical instruments. Astronomers are most often than not dealing with objects that are extremely faint, because they are far away or obscured, or -in the case of planets- next to a bright star. Therefore, we are building always larger telescopes and why instrumentation for astronomy is always pushing the boundary of instrumentation, using the very best detectors (even heavily involved in developing new ones), cryogenic and photonics technologies.

At RSAA, we have particular interest, and have active research in the following instrumentation:

  • Infrared detectors. Having developed several successful instruments in the past we are currently working on large infrared arrays. All of these detectors are sensitive in the near-IR, from 0.8 to 2.5 microns wavelength. Current application is the Giant Magellan Telescope Integral Field Spectrograph (GMTIFS).
  • Adaptive Optics (AO): Adaptive optics is a key technology used and improved on as it can help to improve an optical systems performance by reducing wavefront distortions. This type of research has been growing in the last five years.
  • Hyper-Spectral Imaging: Hyperspectral Imaging collects and processes data for the electromagnetic spectrum at each of the pixels. It is used to identify different materials, find objects or for detection.
  • There are also many other topics related to visible detectors, large visible instruments and spectrographs being researched.

Contact

A/Professor Francois Rigaut, RSAA

Updated:  17 August 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPE/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster