Hybrid Wavefront Sensor

Wave-front sensors (WFS) are an integral part of any Adaptive Optics (AO) system. AO systems seek to correct in real time any aberrations caused by the atmosphere. AO systems are commonly used in astronomy, but have been integrated in fields such as microscopy and medical sciences.

The perfect WFS is driven by three distinct parameters: linearity, high sensitivity, and wide dynamic range. Large dynamic range allows for accurate correction of both large and small aberrations, important when looking through a turbulent medium like the atmosphere. The sensitivity of WFS describes the strength of its response to a small change in the aberration. A linear relationship in these calculations is important to minimize computational delay between corrections. To date there is no WFS in use which has all three of these properties.

The Hybrid WFS (HyWFS) solves this problem by combining two commonly used WFS, the Shack-Hartmann Wave-front Sensor (SHWFS) and the Pyramid Wave-front Sensor (PyWFS). The final output of the system can be analyzed in a Matlab simulation as a SHWFS, as a PyWFS, or a combination of the two.


IONA Telescope

Received from the Air Force Research Lab in Albuquerque, NM on December 10, 2018, the IONA Telescope is built from a past project titled the Multi-Mission Deployable Optical System (MDOS). The MDOS was outfitted to move quickly and accurately to track low earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. However, prior to its trip down to the University of Arizona for repurposing, it has remained untouched for most of the past decade.

The IONA Telescope project intends to utilize as much as possible from the original system, while placing a heavier importance on the easily transportable nature of the system.

The purpose of the project is to re-outfit and update the current system to create an innovative test-bed for instrumentation and observing techniques in support of artificial satellite observation. The system mounts were originally created to track LEO satellites, and therefore have the ability to track almost any object in the night sky without mechanical constraints.