Adaptive Optics Training 2019

Why developing an Adaptive Optics Training in Chile?

More and more instruments at big observatories in Chile are equipped with Adaptive Optics (AO) requiring their staff to understand how an AO system works in order to help producing the best observations out of it.

The training delivered by the Pontificia Universidad Católica (UC) is an introduction to AO designed for technicians, engineers or astronomers of the observatories who may have to participate in developments, commissioning, operations or maintenance of adaptive optics systems. In 2017-2018, we have organized the first training with participants from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. In 2019, we hope to gather participants from ESO, as well as from Gemini Observatory, Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) or Las Campanas Observatory.

Training goals:
The participants will acquire knowledge on the AO systems, the reasons why they are needed, their design and components, as well as the challenges related to their developments nowadays and in the future. Concepts related to light, wave propagation in the visible and infra-red, wavefront aberrations and their impact on the observations (images or data) are studied. Relevant concepts of devices and technologies for the AO components are presented and compared. The participants will thus acquire the basics to enable the preliminary design of an AO system. The training also includes significant time spent in practical sessions in the laboratory and on numerical AO simulators. This is aimed at relating the learned concepts to the concrete difficulties of operating an AO system at the telescopes.

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