SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018

We attended the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation conference on June 10th in Austin, TX. Dmitry Savransky presented a talk on his paper “Mining the GPIES Database.” Dean Keithly presented a poster for his paper “Scheduling and Target Selection Optimization for Exoplanet Imaging Spacecraft.” Jacob Shapiro presented a poster for his paper “Common Spatial Pattern Filtering for Imaging of Circumstellar Disks.” Gabriel Soto presented a poster for his paper “Optimal Starshade Observation Scheduling.”

Congratulations SIOSlab Graduates!

Congratulations to all of this year’s SIOSlab graduates, including undergraduate lab alumni Amlan Sinha and Patrick Voorhees, and MEng alumni Michael Wang and Dante Del Terzo.  Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

Congratulations also to Gabriel Soto, for being one of this year’s recipients of the Sibley School Excellence in Graduate Teaching Assistant Prize. This prize is based on student feedback and endorsements by instructors, and is awarded to graduate students who have demonstrated dedication and excellence as a teaching assistant in Sibley School courses.

SIOSlab Selected for 2018 NIAC

Our proposal: Modular Active Self-Assembling Space Telescope Swarms has been selected for the 2018 NIAC Phase I.  The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Program seeks to develop radical and revolutionary new concepts that could potentially lead to wholly new classes of NASA missions and unprecedented technological and scientific breakthroughs.

Our study will seek to establish the feasibility of constructing giant space telescopes, far beyond the scale that would be possible with conventional construction techniques, out of standardized, mass-produced modules.  These modules would be launched individually or in small groups, preferably as payloads of opportunity on other launches, and would navigate to the vicinity of the Sun-Earth L2 point using solar sails for propulsion.  There, the swarm of modules would assemble autonomously, taking advantage of the novel dynamical environment, with the top sides of the modules becoming segments of the telescope mirror, while the solar sails become components of a giant, planar sun-shield. The mirror segments would all be active optics to allow for the setting and control of the required overall mirror shape.  We are greatly honored by our selection, and excited to get started on this project.

This project has also been covered by the Cornell Chronicle and Motherboard.