Colloquium: Michael Hart

    Thursday, March 31, 2016 - 3:30pm - 5:00pm

    Turbocharged Adaptive Optics in the Era of “Free” Computation


    In the early days of adaptive optics (AO), the throttle that limited both performance and access to the technology by a broad user community was the cost of the necessary high-speed computers. These days, thanks to Gordon Moore’s Law, computing hardware is essentially free: its cost is less than the uncertainty in the budget for developing a new adaptive optical system. In this talk I will describe a concept for a new paradigm in imaging systems which take advantage of “free” computation to deliver high resolution over a field of view with a completely non-shift-invariant aberrated PSF. These systems will use both AO and real-time numerical post-processing, tightly integrated, to correct the image over the field, relying on tomographic reconstruction of 3D wave-front sensing measurements. Many uses for such systems can be imagined, but I will focus on one which is guiding the strategic vision for my group’s research program at the College: a military-grade airborne surveillance system that must work on batteries and provide an operator with information to support critical real-time decisions.

    Speaker Bio(s): 

    Michael Hart is an Associate Professor in the College of Optical Sciences. He specializes in the implementation of advanced adaptive optics for large astronomical telescopes and other optical systems, including tomographic wave-front sensing and deformable mirror development. He was the Principal Investigator for several implementations of adaptive optics at the 6.5 m MMT, and led work to equip the twin 8.4 m Large Binocular Telescope with multi-laser guided adaptive optics. Additional research focuses on the development of physically constrained image deconvolution and video enhancement algorithms, automatic target recognition, object-independent wave-front sensing, and the recovery of 3-D object structure from multiscopic observations.