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Francis Bennet: "Adaptive optics on the GMT and for space environment management"

Francis has been kind enough to agree to address our members and friends at the 22nd Annual South Pacific Star Party, 22-25 May 2014. Here is some information about his talk and his work.

Title: Adaptive optics on the GMT and for space environment management
Abstract: Australia is a major partner in the Giant Magellan Telescope project, and at the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra we are developing a key adaptive optics system which will produce the clearest images of the Universe ever recorded. We are also developing adaptive optics systems to track, range and image satellites and space debris, in partnership with a private company in Canberra, Electro Optic Space Systems. I will present an overview of the GMT and its current status and projected completion, and give an overview of tracking space debris using a ground based telescope and laser, including future prospects for space environment management.
Biography: I hold a degree with first class honours in Science (Physics) from the Australian National University and completed my PhD in Physics at the ANU in 2011. I am currently developing adaptive optics with the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Mount Stromlo Observatory in Canberra, Australia, as part of our partnership with the Giant Magellan Telescope project. I am also developing adaptive optics systems in partnership with Electro-Optic Systems (EOS) to improve their current space debris tracking program and the collaborative CRC for space environment management. My current research interests include adaptive optics, astrophotonics, laser physics, and optical design.


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