Adaptive Optics Training

The Millennium Nucleus ACIP together with the Engineering School UC have organized in January 2021 the third Adaptive Optics Training.

More and more instruments at big observatories in Chile are equipped with Adaptive Optics (AO) requiring their staff to understand how an AO system works in order to help produce the best observations out of it. These complex systems are designed to remove the blurring induced by our atmosphere on the ground-based observations. They are just 

indispensable to some kind of astronomical observations. It is thus important that astronomers and engineers working at the observatories get trained to AO.

This AO training, organized together by the Engineering School UC,  the Astro-engineering Center UC (AIUC) and the Millennium Nucleus ACIP, is an introduction to AO designed for engineers and astronomers working at the observatories who might be involved in developments, comissionnings, operations and maintenance of these systems. The training, unique in Chile, allows to train together participants coming from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the Gemini Observatory, Las Campanas Observatory and ALMA. The training is also an opportunity to create mutual interactions and possible new collaborations between observatories and UC.  

The AO training 2021 (held in January 2021) included the participation of Millennium Nucleus ACIP that has allowed 6 engineering students (from UC and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso) to participate in the training. The training consists in about 30 hours of theoretical lectures and 2 sessions of numerical simulations, all given online because of the contingency. Another very important aspect of the training is the hands-on sessions in an optics laboratory at UC during which the participants have the chance to make an AO system work. Because of their key contents for the training, a particular effort has been made to maintain these practical sessions in 2021 despite adapted conditions due to the contingency.