Optical Infrared Coordination Network for Astronomy
Adaptive optics (AO) detectors and wavefront sensor cameras have been identified since a decade ago as a key technology to allow the full exploitation of large and Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT). This key technology has been supported by OPTICON since 2004. In December 2014, ESO Council approved the construction of the European- Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT) in two phases, and authorised spending on Phase 1. In this first Phase, several instruments need state of the art natural guide star (NGS) or Laser Guide Star (LGS) AO systems, sometimes with multiple wavefront sensors. Developing state of the art niche detectors and cameras for these AO applications necessitates specialized skills, as demonstrated in the two previous OPTICON contracts.
This proposal is to further develop fast detectors and cameras for Laser Guide Star wavefront sensing to the stage where systems are commercially available to European teams, with very significant spinoff capabilities for biomedical applications.
This WP will contribute to develop a common strategy with ESO for E-ELT wavefront sensing camera development and production. It will also reinforce European commercial leadership in building ITAR-free fast detector cameras. While astronomy generally addresses fundamental sciences and physics, this technological development, crucial for the EELT, will create direct/induced jobs and positive commercial balance in Europe.
Philippe Feautrier (CNRS) -