Wavefront sensing in the VLT/ELT era + AO workshop week

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the following AO events were momentarily suspended in Europe: 

  • the AO workshop week in March/June 2020 in Porto
  • the Wavefront sensing in the VLT/ELT era in October 2020 in Nice 

The health conditions have been evolving favourably for the past few weeks (in Europe). Based on this positive evolution, we are pleased to confirm the organization of an event that will merge the WFS workshop with the AO workshop week: the 5th edition of the “Wavefront sensing in the VLT/ELT era + AO workshop week” to be held in Nice, from October 13 to 16th, 2020.
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On-sky correction of non-common path aberration with the pyramid wavefront sensor

The paper deals with with the on-sky performance of the pyramid wavefront sensor-based Adaptive Optics (AO) systems. These wavefront sensors are of great importance, being used in all first light AO systems of the ELTs (E-ELT, GMT, and TMT), currently in design phase. In particular, non-common path aberrations (NCPAs) are a critical issue encountered when using an AO system to produce corrected images in an associated astronomical instrument.

15th Consortium Meeting di MICADO – Stay at home

The 15th Consortium Meeting of the MICADO instrument for the Extremely Large Telescope was held from Monday 30 March to Wednesday 1 April. We INAF researchers, as well as other partners (French, German, Dutch, Austrian and Finnish), participated remotely. Everyone connected from their home, preferably enabling and disabling the microphone and video camera to reduce background noise and save transmission bandwidth. In particular, we used Zoom for video chat. Participation was massive (on the first day, we were 97 to be connected simultaneously). Thanks to not very strict respect for netiquette, the meeting took place very efficiently, raising the hand before speaking (actually, it was a virtual paddle).
The crisis triggered by COVID-19 was also discussed: inevitable delays in project development are expected. These currently appear in the order of two months, although tending to increase due to the delay that the companies that collaborate with the consortium could accumulate (supplies or even – hopefully, none – bankruptcies). The atmosphere was positive, all very pragmatic and understanding of the interruptions and noises of children and more or less disturbing neighbours.
We participated in 2 plenary sessions at the beginning and end of the video meeting. In between 2 full days of “splinter” meetings, that is, parallel sessions explicitly focused on the different engineering or purely astronomical activities. We contribute to the consortium participating in the working group that will develop software for the reconstruction of the MICADO PSF from telemetry data. As coordinators, we have also organized a couple of these splinter meetings, just to update the colleagues and to update ourselves on activities related to our goal. Eventually was a success. It was a good demonstration of tenacity against any surrender, which I think has done right to everyone and not just me – the second from the left in the image below -.
Carmelo Arcidiacono


March 18, the director of the Padua Observatory delivers 1000 masks to the civil defense

Today I formally delivered 1000 masks to the Civil Protection of Padua which we had supplied to use them in our clean room for the assembly of optical instrumentation for space or for the major telescopes on the planet. It is a drop in the ocean of the needs of our health system in this dramatic moment, and surely soon the action of enlightened entrepreneurs will fill most of these needs, but it is the drops that form the sea. A heartfelt thanks to Giancarlo Farisato, Leopoldo Benacchio, Antonella Cecchinato, Jacopo Farinato, Nicola Di Cicco, Luigi Lessio, Gaetano Telesio and to all the very kind and highly efficient staff of the Civil Protection for having contributed to this small “operation”. read more