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Optics Manufacturing: An Engine for Advancement in Astronomy

Apr 27, 2021
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Astronomy is a science driven by observation. Advancements in observation are driven by technology. Since the inception of telescopic observation of the universe, the root of this technology has been optical manufacturing. More than 400 years after Galileo turned his telescope to the sky and changed the way humanity understands the universe, optics manufacturing is still the propulsive force in advancement in astronomy. This talk covers the historical role of optics manufacturing as a prelude to understanding the outsize role that manufacturing plays in astronomical system development. Arenberg discusses the important joint roles of technical, cost, and schedule performance in mission selection and execution. He concludes with a look into the future of astronomical systems and projects the role of manufacturing technologies past mid-century.

***This presentation premiered during the 2021 Photonics Spectra Optics Conference. For information on upcoming Photonics Media events, see our event calendar here.

About the presenter
Jonathan ArenbergJonathan Arenberg, Ph.D., is chief engineer for Space Science Missions at Northrop Grumman Space Systems. He has extensive experience in all phases of program and mission development, from early technology development, mission concepts, and detailed design to test and verification, and integration and test. His last major program assignment was as chief engineer for the James Webb Space Telescope. In the last few years, Arenberg has led major mission studies for NASA and other government clients. He has been a major contributor to paradigm-breaking mission concepts, such as the Starshade and the MODE lens. He is a creative and broad thinker, capable of addressing the most challenging problems with practical and effective solutions. In addition to his work in astronomical and optical systems (from x-rays to terahertz systems), Arenberg has been involved with research into laser damage measurements - specifically studying the statistics of laser damage and the performance of test protocols. He is a member of the OEOSC TF7 committee and the ISO committee developing damage standards.

Arenberg has a Bachelor of Science degree in physics and a Master of Science degree and doctorate in engineering - all from UCLA. As a committed member of the scientific community, he is a long-serving California State Science Fair judge, frequent public speaker, referee for several journals, and guest editor for several special journal issues. He is a SPIE Fellow for his contribution to astronomy and lasers. Arenberg is the author of over 210 conference presentations, papers, and book chapters, and he holds 14 European and U.S. patents in a wide variety of areas of technology. He is also the co-author of a recent book on systems engineering for astronomy from SPIE press. In 2020, Arenberg received the Professional Achievement Award from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science.
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