Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy
Major advances in optical and infrared astronomy have been enabled by the adoption of new technology from industry or other scientific domains. Examples go back to the original use of a telescope to discover the moons of Jupiter (Galileo) to the more recent introduction of adaptive optics and infrared detectors. However, the process also works in the other direction, and indeed the OPTICON programme has acted as a stimulus for industrial innovation. The development of the OCam fast camera for adaptive optics has resulted in the French spin-out company First Light Imaging, which is now marketing cameras based on this technology across a wide range of application areas.
The OPTICON astrophotonics programme has also been successful in bringing photonics technology into astronomy from the telecommunication industry, and has recently pushed new technology back the other way, with the launch of a device for space-division multiplexing by the UK spin-out Optoscribe based on photonic lanterns developed for astronomy. The OPTICON Technology & Innovation Network will continue this two-way process by engaging industrial and astronomy partners across Europe in a series of workshops and technology road-mapping activities, thus stimulating scientific progress and economic development.
Wayne Holland (STFC) -