MagAO-X Takes Montréal: Day 2

It’s only day 2 of the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation Conference and already lots of interesting talks, lunch & learns, and posters are underway.

Dr. Richard Dekany gave an interesting talk on SIGHT, the Palomar 5m telescope LGS AO system, and highlighted the support of our very own Sebastiaan Haffert and Meghan O’Brien on the Optical Differentiation wavefront sensor.

The Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Lunch & Learn brought up interesting points about international differences in approaches to EDI. There are more similar events and networking events throughout the week in room 514!

We supported fellow optical sciences grad student, Kevin Derby, from the UArizona Space Astrophysics Lab during his fantastic talk on pinwheel segmented primary apertures.

Kevin Derby presenting his talk

Since this lab just loves when things are “in-phase”, several of us attended a talk on the phasing of the James Webb Space Telescope by Scott Acton. He had some thoughtful words on his next steps as a scientist, “And that’s how you align the telescope. Now I need another job.”

Scott Acton presenting his talk

On theme with space telescopes, we are finishing the night with UASAL graduate student, Jaren Ashcraft, presenting his poster on the Space Coronagraph Optical Bench – SCoOB.

Jaren presenting his poster

Sorry, I’m not a connoisseur of French music.

“La vie en rose” – Louis Armstrong

MagAO-X Voyage à Montréal Day 1: My French isn’t that good

The SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference is the main event for instrument builders world-wide, and this year is held in Montréal, Quebec, Canada. The conference is held every two years (because one year is nothing in instrument project timelines) and the last one would have been in 2020. (But then, the plague.)

Anyway, we have a lot of new stuff to report from MagAO-X, and from our friends in UASAL, SCExAO, and beyond. See the schedule at the end of this post. (We’re just jazzed to be here.)

Today, the first team member to speak was our fearless leader with a status update on MagAO-X Phase II and future plans.

Olivier Guyon gave us a version of his Spirit of Lyot talk, which was fortunate, because that gave some of us a second chance to absorb and understand it. (There’s a lot going on over at SCExAO!)

Sebastiaan was tapped to present as a substitute for a team member who wasn’t attending, and he gave us an overview of image quality calibration from WFS PSF deconvolution (work by Jacob Trzaska) and his own predictive control algorithm (Data-Driven Subspace Predictive Control—DDSPC).

Blog Rules

It’s been a while since we had a Blog Rule, beyond the compulsory Song of the Day. So, here’s my rule for the week: les chansons doivent être en français.

(The songs must be in French.)

Bonus points for chansons Quebecois!

Song of the Day

“Je Veux” by Zaz

Today when I went to get a coffee en route to conference registration, I opened with a “bonjour,” following the advice for anglophones in a francophone world. Then, I asked “English OK?” and the barista said “Yeah, sure! My French isn’t that good.”

Maybe that advice is more for the rest of Quebec…

MagAO-X and Friends Schedule

Sunday, July 17
12:05Jared Males518aMagAO-X: current status and plans for Phase II
15:45Olivier Guyon (SCExAO)518aHigh Contrast Imaging at the Photon Noise Limit with WFS-based PSF Calibration
16:20Sebastiaan Haffert518aPSF evaluation using tip images in a modulated pyramid wavefront sensor
Monday, July 18
posterJaren Ashcraft (UASAL)516The Space Coronagraph Optical Bench (SCoOB): 1. Design and assembly of a vacuum-compatible coronagraph testbed for spaceborne high-contrast imaging technology
posterKyle Van Gorkom (UASAL)516The space coronagraph optical bench (SCoOB): 2. wavefront sensing and control in a vacuum-compatible coronagraph testbed for spaceborne high-contrast imaging technology
posterKevin Derby (UASAL)516Tolerance analysis of a self-coherent camera for wavefront sensing and dark hole maintenance
Tuesday, July 19
13:25Laird Close (for Alex Hedglen)518aFirst lab results of segment/petal phasing with a pyramid wavefront sensor and a novel holographic dispersed fringe sensor (HDFS) from the Giant Magellan Telescope high contrast adaptive optics phasing testbed
13:55Antonin Bouchez (for Rick Demers) (GMT)518Phasing the Segmented Giant Magellan Telescope: Progress in Testbeds and Prototypes
17:25Meghan O’Brien518aexperimenting with the g-ODWFS for use in extended source LGS wavefront sensing.
posterSebastiaan Haffert516Visible extreme adaptive optics for GMagAO-X with the triple-stage AO architecture (TSAO).
posterLaird Close516A Review of High Contrast AO Imaging of Accreting Proto-Planets
posterJoseph Long516XPipeline: Starlight Subtraction at Scale for MagAO-X
posterNoah Swimmer (UCSB)516?An MKID camera for use behind MagAO-X
Wednesday, July 20
posterJared Males516The conceptual design of GMagAO-X: visible wavelength high contrast imaging with GMT
posterMaggie Kautz516A novel hexpyramid pupil slicer for an ExAO Parallel DM for the Giant Magellan Telescope
Thursday, July 21
10:30Laird Close518aThe Optical and Mechanical Design for the 21,000 Actuator ExAO System for the Giant Magellan Telescope: GMagAO-X
14:10Lauren Schatz518aExperimental demonstration of a three-sided pyramid wavefront sensor on the CACTI testbed
15:40Andrew Szentgyorgyi519aG@M: Design of the Giant Magellan Telescope Consortium Large Earth Finder (G-CLEF) for operations at the Magellan telescopes.
posterSebastiaan Haffert516Advanced wavefront sensing and control demonstration with MagAO-X

MagAO-X Across the Pond Day 5: Beauty of the Netherlands

Today was the last day of the conference! We saw many great talks (mostly about PDS 70 and HR 8799…) and many of us have left excited to get back to work and Reduce! That! Data!

Today was a half day and that meant we were finally able to roam free and see the beauty of the Netherlands. Logan, Joseph and I headed over to Den Haag to check out another city.

We saw beautiful architecture…

… gorgeous flowers…

And some authentic Dutch boba tea~~~! ( ❛ ᴗ ❛ 🌸)

It wouldn’t be a trip to the Netherlands without seeing a Dutch art masterpiece so we went to the Mauritshuis museum of fine art…

…where we saw the famous painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer.

Seeing the painting in real life fell a little flat. We much prefer our own take on the Vermeer master work, so we fixed it. “Jared with a Pearl Earring” belongs in a museum don’t you think?

Switching out the paintings caused such a commotion that a protest rapidly formed outside the museum.

Or, was it just a coincidental and totally unrelated protest? Who is to say, really…

Jared and Logan are heading back tomorrow and we wish them safe travels! Joseph and I are on to the next adventure in Belgium.

Song of the Day:

“Pearl” — The Mamas and The Papas

MagAO-X Across The Pond Day 4: Let’s Talk It Out

Today I presented Kevin Wagner’s talk about searching for planets in 10 µm light. I think I did an okay job talking about things I know nothing about, but then, I do have plenty of practice.

All questions about Kevin’s part of the talk will be answered with viscacha noises.

Incredibly, people did ask me questions. In this rare instance, “beats me, ask someone else!” was a valid answer. (Actually, I’ve been running audience messages back and forth to Kevin on the Steward grad student Slack. Just not on stage.)

The only MagAO-X/XWCL member officially on the schedule for today was our fearless leader Dr. Jared Males.

GMagAO-* is strictly an improvement over MagAO-X as the * means it can wildcard match all Giant Magellan AO instruments.

I can’t speak for Jared, but I’m happy to be free of any further obligations beyond listening and enjoying the rest of the conference.

Themed Gallery 1: Pictures of PDS 70 b from SPHERE

It’s their fave.

Themed Gallery 2: Food in hand

Song of the Day

“La Vida Es Un Carnaval” — Celia Cruz

MagAO-X Across the Pond: Day 3

Where are days 1 & 2 you ask? Um we didn’t blog those. *Sheepish grin*

Your favorite MagAO-X team is living it up in Leiden, Netherlands this week at the Spirit of Lyot conference – a conference devoted to bringing exoplanet direct imaging science and instrument builders together to unite the tech with the science. I’ve had a great time so far! This is my first astronomy in-person conference post-pandemic, and it’s great that every talk and poster is directly related to science I am excited about. I’ve met so many people both known and unknown to me previously, and am feeling re-invigorated and re-inspired about the work I’m doing.

Today was the first MagAO-X-focused talk by Leiden’s own Dr. Sebastiaan Haffert. He talked about his integral field spectrograph addition to MagAO-X, VIS-X. Here are some action shots:

MagAO-X team member Olivier Guyon and MagAO-X team friend Kate Follette also graced us with exciting science talks today. Additionally, I have a poster at the conference, which you can see here, and Joseph Long also has a poster!

Tomorrow will be action packed with talks by audience favorite Dr. Jared Males, and surprise special guest Joseph Long with an exclusive set delivering Kevin Wagner’s talk who is home with a surprise special covid.

Stay tuned!

PS – Please forgive any typos as they gave us all 8 beer tokens each and only two days to spend them, and I am feeling the effects at the moment… Cheers!

In honor of all the friends new and old, the song of the day is I Have Friends from the hit TV show Crazy Ex Girlfriend: