The European Extremely Large Telescope: science goals and technology challenges.
AbstractTeams from industry, universities and institutes across Europe are contributing to the design and development phase of the European Southern Observatory's project to build the world's biggest optical/infrared telescope. I will outline some of exciting scientific prospects for a fully-adaptive 42m telescope, from studying exoplanets to the furthest galaxies, and then show how some of the technical challenges are being addressed. I will place special emphasis on the work UK teams are doing on instrumentation, detectors and adaptive optics.
About the talk
UK Astronomy Technology Centre, ROE, UK
About the speaker
Professor Colin Cunningham the Director of the UK ELT Programme. He has many years experience in electronic and systems engineering, project and technology management for a range of scientific applications including biology, geophysics and astronomy.
He was project manager for the very successful sub-millimetre camera SCUBA on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, and systems engineer for the first four years of the SPIRE instrument for the Herschel Space Observatory, now starting to produce spectacular results. He led the OPTICON Framework 6 Smart Focal Planes activity, and leads the FP7 Smart Instrument Technologies project.
He now leads the UK’s efforts towards a European Extremely Large Telescope and its associated instruments and systems. He also chairs the OPTICON Key Technologies Network. He is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Glasgow University as part of the Scottish Universities Physics Alliance, and Honorary Professor at Heriot Watt and Edinburgh Universities, where he is Deputy Director of the Edinburgh Research Partnership's Institute for Integrated Systems.