University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Institute of Astronomy Colloquia > Stopping the Stars from Twinkling: monitoring, modelling and mitigating atmospheric turbulence for astronomy and other applications

Stopping the Stars from Twinkling: monitoring, modelling and mitigating atmospheric turbulence for astronomy and other applications

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Turbulence in the Earth’s atmosphere can limit the precision of ground-based optical telescopes, both in terms of the angular resolution and the time-resolved photometry. I will present the progress in monitoring, modelling and mitigating atmospheric turbulence for astronomy and other applications. We have successfully developed a new turbulence monitor capable of operating continuously 24-hours a day, enabling support for both solar and night-time activities but also feeding into turbulence forecasting tools. The combination of these facilities allows us to model the propagation of light through the Earth’s atmosphere anywhere in the world. This is useful to select new sites, develop new instruments and optimise scheduling for existing observatories. I will also highlight the synergies between astronomical instrumentation and other exciting applications such as free-space optical communications and satellite tracking; areas where technical research staff can transfer their skills to make a significant impact in these emerging fields.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Colloquia series.

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