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Edmund Optics Names Inspiration Award Winner
Oct 2013
BARRINGTON, N.J., Oct. 9, 2013 — For work that will help lower the cost of high-resolution imagery by negating the need to launch such equipment into space, Dr. Craig Mackay of the University of Cambridge has received the 2013 Norman Edmund Inspiration Award from optical components maker Edmund Optics, the company announced Wednesday. He and his team will receive $5000 worth of Edmund products.

Mackay, professor of image science in the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge in England, and his team are building an instrument for ground-based optical telescopes that will produce higher-resolution images than those captured by space telescopes.

The Mackay team instrument will deliver much higher angular resolution with 5- to 10-m class telescopes to deliver diffraction-limited imaging in the visible spectrum. Using the Lucky Imaging technique, the sharpest images are selected and made even sharper with a new lower-order curvature wavefront sensor. This works by using an optical assembly that allows simultaneous imaging of near-pupil images on either side of a pupil to reconstruct the wavefront and drive the deformable mirror to deliver the corrections. The team has already achieved images about three times the angular resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope; its goal is to develop the instrument so that it may be put on the largest telescope in the world - the 10.5-m GTC on the Canary Islands.

"Professor Mackay's project is a significant evolution in the field of adaptive optics," said Marisa Edmund, VP of marketing and communications. "[His] research epitomizes what my grandfather, Norman Edmund, loved the most - furthering the exploration of science."

The Norman Edmund Inspiration Award honors the contributions made by Norman Edmund to advance the science of optics. The recipient is chosen from the first-, second- and third-place-prize winners in the Americas, Europe and Asia who best embodies Edmund's legacy. Mackay, as the first-place recipient, also received €7000 (about $9500) in Edmund Optics products from the 2013 Higher Education Global Grant Program.

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adaptive optics
Optical components or assemblies whose performance is monitored and controlled so as to compensate for aberrations, static or dynamic perturbations such as thermal, mechanical and acoustical disturbances, or to adapt to changing conditions, needs or missions. The most familiar example is the "rubber mirror,'' whose surface shape, and thus reflective qualities, can be controlled by electromechanical means. See also active optics; phase conjugation.
The scientific observation of celestial radiation that has reached the vicinity of Earth, and the interpretation of these observations to determine the characteristics of the extraterrestrial bodies and phenomena that have emitted the radiation.
An afocal optical device made up of lenses or mirrors, usually with a magnification greater than unity, that renders distant objects more distinct, by enlarging their images on the retina.
adaptive opticsAmericasastronomyBasic ScienceBusinessCambridgeCommunicationsCraig MackayEdmund OpticsEnglandEuropeground-based telescopeHigher Education Global GrantHubbleimagingmirrorsNew JerseyNorman Edmund Inspiration Awardoptical telescopeopticsspace telescopetelescope

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