NASA Postdoctoral Program position - Visible Light Adaptive Optics for Extreme precision radial velocity measurements of Exoplanets
The extreme precision radial velocity (EPRV) technique holds the promise of discovering terrestrial planets orbiting solar type stars. Most plans for EPRV measurements have assumed the use of seeing limited spectrographs using multi-mode fibers, but adaptive optics (AO) can feed single mode fibers, which would produce compact spectrographs that would be more stable. For this and a number of other reasons, AO fed spectrographs promise to have smaller RV measurement errors. The vast majority of AO systems have been developed in the near-infrared, but EPRV studies will most likely be done in the visible.
We welcome applicants interested in understanding the impact of AO on EPRV measurements, particularly those aspects of the EPRV error budget that change when an AO system is used in conjunction with a diffraction-limited spectrometer. In addition, applicants interested in modeling visible light AO performance are encouraged to apply. Other possible areas on research are determining ways to improve the fiber coupling efficiency in single and multi-mode fibers, such as improved coupling optics, methods for maintaining fiber alignment, or for correcting non-common path aberrations in the fiber arm of the AO system. In addition the applicant will have have the opportunity to work with a diffraction limited spectrograph for RV measurements at Palomar in the Near-IR and the other AO instruments at Palomar.
More information is available through USRA NASA Postdoctoral Programs website
NASA Postdoctoral Program position - Adaptive Optics for Laser Communication & Astrophysics
Just coming online for the 2021 mission launch is the AO system for the Laser Communication Relay Demonstration (LCRD) mission. This AO system communicates via lasers with a geosynchronous satellite. The AO system is used to feed a single mode fiber and has already achieved Strehl ratios of 90% under operational conditions. The candidates will be able to work with the system and collect data for analysis.