Progress is being made on our 2018 NIAC Modular Active Self-Assembling Space Telescope Swarms! We have managed to draft a potential model of our proposed segment design. This model (while incomplete) demonstrates we can package the key subsystems of a spacecraft into the dimensional constraints of a James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) size mirror. Details are in progress!
Our new paper titled “Planet occurrence rate density models including stellar effective temperature” has been published in PASP. The paper can be accessed through DOI.
Joyce Fang’s final paper as a graduate student: “Wavefront reconstruction with defocus and transverse shift estimation using Kalman filtering” has been published in Volume 111 of Optics and Lasers in Engineering. Open access available here.
On June 8th, 2018, Joyce Fang successfully defended her PhD thesis, entitled “Online Model-based Estimation for Automated Optical System Alignment and Phase Retrieval Algorithm” Congratulations to Dr. Fang and the very best of luck in all of her future endeavors.
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.
Gabriel Soto successfully passed his A exam, marking his entrance into the dissertation phase of his degree program. The talk slides are available here.
Michael Wang (SIOSlab MEng 2018) presented at the St. Lawrence Section meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference and was awarded the best graduate poster award for his work on Coded Aperture Ranging.
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.
Our new paper titled “Amplitude and phase retrieval with simultaneous diversity estimation using expectation maximization” has been published in OSA JOSA A. The paper can be accessed through DOI.