UK Programme for the European Extremely Large Telescope

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Physics

Abstract

Included in the "UK Programme for the European Extremely large Telescope".

Planned Impact

Included in the "UK Programme for the European Extremely large Telescope - Pathways to Impact".

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N002660/1 01/10/2015 31/03/2019
1780963 Studentship ST/N002660/1 01/10/2015 31/03/2019 Douglas Laidlaw
 
Title On-sky open-loop WFS measurements 
Description A collection of on-sky measured open-loop wavefront sensor data (and assocaited meta-data required to understand and describe the observations) was prepared and has been recently released to the community. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact None to date - only released in the last 2 months. 
URL https://www.eso.org/sso/login
 
Title SCIDAR at the ING 
Description A high-vertical resolution optical turbulence profiler was developed and installed on the 2.5m Isaac Newton Telescope. Observations made in support of the CANARY instrument were used to create a database of turbulence profiles that are of sufficient vertical resolution to design and characterise instruments for the future set of extremely large telescopes. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2015 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The Thirty Metre Telescope project used the database of atmospheric profiles measured using the SCIDAR instrument to select La Palma as the backup operating site for the major US astronomical facilty. 
 
Title Sodium Profiling at the INT 
Description The mesosphere contains a layer of sodium atoms that are excited by a laser to provide a wavefront reference for the adaptive optics systems. The density and distribution on the sodium profile varies with time and to date, the only high-vertical resolution profiles available to the communtiy were measured in Northern Canada. As this distribution of sodium atoms can be affected by latitude, measurment of the sodium profiles at high vertical and temporal (~0.1-1s) resoultion from alternative location, such as La Palma is essential. A high resolution vertical profiler was installed at the INT telescope in La Palma and an initial data release and analysis code is being prepared. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Profiles from the original 6 nights of measurements are being released, but additional measurements that will be made during upcoming observing runs will provide a statistically representatve dataset compared to existing profile data from Canada. 
 
Description Astrophotonics 
Organisation Heriot-Watt University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided access and calibration, alignment and operations support for experiment integration to the CANARY instrument for on-sky tests for novel astrophotonic components.
Collaborator Contribution Herriot-Watt and Bath provided the devices, built the back-end instrumentation, and were involved in the on-sky testing of the devices.
Impact Several publications and on-going collaboration through the ERC H2020 OPTICON program,
Start Year 2015
 
Description Astrophotonics 
Organisation University of Bath
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We provided access and calibration, alignment and operations support for experiment integration to the CANARY instrument for on-sky tests for novel astrophotonic components.
Collaborator Contribution Herriot-Watt and Bath provided the devices, built the back-end instrumentation, and were involved in the on-sky testing of the devices.
Impact Several publications and on-going collaboration through the ERC H2020 OPTICON program,
Start Year 2015
 
Description Investigations of laser uplink correction for increasing optical communications bandwidth to satellites 
Organisation European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Country Germany 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We designed, built, installed and operated a sodium laser guide star monitoring camera on the Isaac Newton Telescope that was used to measure and feedback position information of a laser launched from a small 45cm diameter telescope situated ~400m from the INT. The goal is to assess how well a communications laser launched from the ground could be stabilized at a LEO/GEO satellite. We also operated the laser traffic control system required to avoid interference of the laser work with the astronomical observations being undertaken at
Collaborator Contribution ESO provided the Laser and communications interface, DLR provided an additional auxiliary telescope for measuring and feeding back position from an alternative location.
Impact None to date - access to data recorded by DLR instruments requires a formal collaboration agreement to access that is still under negotiation.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Investigations of laser uplink correction for increasing optical communications bandwidth to satellites 
Organisation German Aerospace Centre (DLR)
Department DLR Munich
Country Germany 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution We designed, built, installed and operated a sodium laser guide star monitoring camera on the Isaac Newton Telescope that was used to measure and feedback position information of a laser launched from a small 45cm diameter telescope situated ~400m from the INT. The goal is to assess how well a communications laser launched from the ground could be stabilized at a LEO/GEO satellite. We also operated the laser traffic control system required to avoid interference of the laser work with the astronomical observations being undertaken at
Collaborator Contribution ESO provided the Laser and communications interface, DLR provided an additional auxiliary telescope for measuring and feeding back position from an alternative location.
Impact None to date - access to data recorded by DLR instruments requires a formal collaboration agreement to access that is still under negotiation.
Start Year 2016
 
Description OPTICON Community Access programme 
Organisation Observatory of Paris
Department Laboratory for Space Science and Astrophysical Instrumentation
Country France 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We operate , support and administer a community access programme to the CANARY instrument for people who wish to test new instrumentation in a realistic observatory environment.
Collaborator Contribution Paris Observatory (LESIA) help support the on-sky operations
Impact None so far - first on-sky run planned for July 2019
Start Year 2017
 
Title HARMONI PDR L-NGS design study 
Description The design and performance analysis document for the HARMONI natural guide star WFSing system for the LTAO system. 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact The LTAO system, of which this is a critical component has been officially included within the HARMONI instrument, meaning that the full scientific potential of this major UK-led instrument can now be realised. 
 
Title MOSAIC Phase A design 
Description The preliminary design of the MOSAIC instrument. Durham specifically delivered the design and documentation for the instrument main structure, and the adaptive optics system. 
Type Of Technology Systems, Materials & Instrumental Engineering 
Year Produced 2018 
Impact Design accepted by the observatory and review passed.