This month Astralis featured prominently at the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2022 conference in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
For the first time the three nodes of Astralis attended the SPIE under new banner following rebranding of the Astralis Instrumentation Consortium (Astralis, previously known as Australian Astronomical Optics) in Apr 2021.
The instrument scientists, engineers, and project managers from Astralis-AAO (Macquarie University), Astralis-AITC (Australian National University) and Astralis USYD (The University of Sydney) contributed talks, poster presentations and showcased our instrumentation in the Astralis booth.
“SPIE was a long-awaited chance to witness the exciting work going on in astronomical instrumentation. Many of us have been working in an isolated mode for the last few years, and meeting face-to-face in Montreal was an eye opener for exciting potential domestic and international collaborations.” says Jesse Cranney, Instrument Scientist from Astralis-AITC.
“It was good to meet people from AIP, ESO and GMT previously only seen on zoom meetings in person. I mostly attended the Advances In Optical And Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation conference and easily the standout presentation was a presentation on MISI-36, a monolithic image slicer made of 112 slices. The name, MISI-36, comes from the slice width of 36 microns (a hair is ~100 microns thick). The capability to machine anything to such precision exists is mindboggling! The other big ticket items were presentations and posters on fibre positioning technologies such as WEAVE (2dF +++) and DESI/MOONS (both theta-phi robotic positioners) with many challenges in common with our new designs.” Says Tim Chin, Mechanical Engineer from Astralis-AAO.