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Magnet Photo

Adaptive optics technologies for exoplanets and x rays

Abstract: The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is an advanced spectrograph designed specifically for exoplanet imaging. GPI's adaptive optics (AO) subsystem uses computationally-efficient and self-adapting algorithms to correct atmospheric turbulence at nearly 1,500 control points in the telescope's 8-meter aperture. I will describe GPI's new AO technologies and present initial on-sky performance results obtained during verification and commissioning at Gemini South in Chile. AO technologies have begun to be used at x-ray light sources. I will discuss the state of the field and our own research program. In particular I will describe the design and control of our new 45-actuator, 45-cm long x-ray deformable mirror. With use of high-precision visible-light metrology and precise control algorithms, we have actuated this mirror and flattened its entire surface to 0.7 nm rms controllable figure error.
Speaker: Lisa Poyneer - LLNL
Speaker Bio: Lisa Poyneer earned the SB and M.Eng in computer science from MIT, and the BA in history from Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She has been a staff member at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory since 2001. Lisa concurrently completed the PhD in electrical engineering at UC Davis, winning the 2008 Marr prize for the most distinguished doctoral dissertation at the university. Dr. Poyneer specializes in algorithm and technology development for high-performance adaptive optics, including the spatially filtered wavefront sensor and computationally efficient, self-optimizing and predictive control methods. She has led the testing and verification of the adaptive optics system of the Gemini Planet Imager, which uses many of these new techniques and is the world's most powerful astronomical adaptive optics instrument. Dr. Poyneer is currently leading projects on adaptive optics for x-ray light sources and wind-predictive adaptive optics for astronomy.
Poster Link: Poster