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Accueil > Recherche > Groupe R&D Optique & Instrumentation > Programmes d’excellence > Past programs > EXTRA Initiative of Excellence

 EXTRA Initiative of Excellence

EXTRA is an A*MIDEX initiative of excellence funded program over two years. EXTRA team is gathering the PI and 2 post-docs funded by A*MIDEX plus one on-going Ph.D. student from CAUP) in concert with on-going and planned LAM activities. EXTRA is also bringing strong associations with leading partners in the international arena that fit well the ambitions of our research project and reinforce existing internal, European and world-wide collaborations.

Contact :
Carlos Correia

Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT) envision 30-40m-diameter filled-aperture phased telescopes with internal adaptive optics (AO) systems designed to provide near diffraction-limited angular resolution (proportional to the diameter) and sensitivity (D^4 ) through the use of multiple natural and laser guide stars over the whole sky. This unique combination relies on AO and is an essential element for reaching the ambitious science programmes, ranging from for e.g. star formation and galaxy dynamics pushing towards wide-field observations or direct imaging of exo-planets requiring optimised AO-assisted high-contrast imaging instruments.

The routinely use of AO lacks still the sensitivity to aim for 100% sky-coverage (i.e. to point anywhere in the sky) and the robustness to operate 100% of the time at full performance (e.g. optimally track different observing conditions). In addition, 100% science-ready data requires a reconstructed field-varying Point Spread Function to further provide quantitative photometric and astrometric estimates and therefore optimise the return of high-angular resolution science programmes.The giant leap from the capabilities we have today requires significant research into new technologies over several years.

The gap ahead of the ELTs is a key opportunity to conduct top-level R&D necessary for next generation instrumentation. The unprecedented instrumentation complexity calling for further theoretical and experimental developments, the huge resources, exquisite facilities and long-range planning required make LAM – Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille – a perfect location to maintaining and strengthening a vigorous and well-coordinated R&D programme in AO, where both the expertise and competences can be found along with in-loco integration facilities. R&D in AO is pivotal in bringing together the astronomical needs to translate them into meaningful instrument concepts and designs.

This proposal’s programme intertwines 3 major elements in wide-field AO : wave-front sensing, tomography & real-time control and post-processing in order to raise the technological readiness status for future ground-based instruments, in particular the European ELT and the two consortia in which LAM participates (E-IFU and E-MOS).
Our approach consists in making significant theoretical progress on contemporary open questions in wide-field AO and providing first ever experimental evidence of AO novel concepts with compelling cases for lab and on-sky testing of complex and yet essential concepts for future astronomy. Areas of work covered are
i) super-sensitivity, exploring e.g. non-linear regimes,
ii) real-time control, providing optimised performance for lased-assisted wide-field tomographic systems
iii) post-processing algorithms, with novel telemety-based PSF reconstruction algorithms

The EXTRA team gathers the PI and 2 post-docs funded by the A*MIDEX foundation. EXTRA will also facilitate existing and new collaborations (e.g. HIA-Canada, TMT-Caltech, etc) with leading partners in the international arena that fit well the goals of our research project.

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