Characterising and correcting atmospheric seeing effects in astronomy

Lead Research Organisation: Durham University
Department Name: Physics


The optical effects of atmospheric turbulence, or 'seeing', are a major limitation for ground--based optical astronomy.
Seeing reduces the image resolution that can be achieved with large telescopes and adds noise to photometric measurements.
One of the key areas of instrumentation development for astronomy is currently the use of adaptive optical (AO) systems to
correct the effects of seeing and improve image resolution in real time. The successful development and application of
AO technology is critical to the science programs of modern large telescopes such as the ESO VLT and the planned
European ELT. In the frame of these developments, achieving a good understanding of the properties of atmospheric
turbulence at observatory sites is of increasing importance. This project will address the development, deployment
and exploitation of site--testing instruments at observatory sites, to improve our understanding of seeing and its
effects on astronomical observations. The results will be applied to improve the performance of adaptive optical or
scintillation correction systems, or to the forecasting of optical turbulence conditions at observatory sites.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ST/N50404X/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2020
2210273 Studentship ST/N50404X/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Kathryn Elizabeth Hartley
ST/T506047/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023
2210273 Studentship ST/T506047/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2023 Kathryn Elizabeth Hartley