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Geoff Andersen

Dr. Geoff  Andersen

HUA, Inc.

1532 Shane Circle

Colorado Springs CO 80907
United States

tel: 719-332-4313
E-mail: geoff.andersen@usafa.edu
Web: http://www.geoffandersen.com/2.html

Area of Expertise

Telescopes, Adaptive Optics, Holography, Remote Sensing and Optical systems


Dr. Geoff Andersen has been a senior researcher with the Laser and Optics Research Center at the USAF Academy for 17 years. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Adelaide and over 20 years research and teaching experience in the areas of holography, telescopes, lidar and optical systems design. Dr. Andersen has 4 US patents and is the primary author of over 50 refereed journal papers and conference proceedings. He is the author of a book on telescopes; "The Telescope: Its History, Technology and Future".

Lecture Title(s)

FalconSAT-7: A membrane space telescope
The USAF Academy Department of Physics is building FalconSAT-7, a membrane solar telescope to be deployed from a 3U CubeSat in LEO. The primary optic is a 0.2m photon sieve - a diffractive element consisting of billions of tiny holes in an otherwise opaque polymer sheet. The membrane, its support structure, secondary optics, two imaging cameras and associated control/recording electronics are all packaged within half the CubeSat volume. Once in space the supporting pantograph structure is deployed, pulling the membrane flat under tension. The telescope will then be steered towards the Sun to gather images at H-alpha for transmission to the ground. Due for launch in 2016, FalconSAT-7 will serve as a pathfinder for future surveillance missions. We are currently investigating two possible options optimized for Earth observing and SSA, with a preliminary design consisting of a 0.3m aperture deployed from a 12U satellite. Such a telescope would be capable of providing sub-meter resolution of ground or space-based objects depending on the orbital characteristics.

Holographic adaptive optics - fast, computer-free aberration correction
We present an adaptive optics system which uses a multiplexed hologram to deconvolve the phase aberrations in an input beam. The wavefront characterization is extremely fast as it is based on simple measurements of the intensity of focal spots and does not require any complex calculations. Furthermore, the system does not require a computer in the loop and is thus much cheaper, less complex and more robust as well.
A fully functional, closed-loop prototype incorporating a 32-element MEMS mirror has been constructed. The unit has a footprint no larger than a laptop but runs at a bandwidth of 100kHz - over an order of magnitude faster than comparable, conventional systems occupying a significantly larger volume. Additionally, since the sensing is based on parallel, all-optical processing, the speed is independent of actuator number - running at the same bandwidth for one actuator as for a million.

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