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January 13, 2020

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From January 4th-8th, lab members and collaborators attended the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society held in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The lab had several poster presentations documenting experiments and projects from the lab. 

Lucas Batista presented his 2019 Summer Space Astronomy Program work on T.U.B.E (The Ultimate Blinding Experiment!) which focused on developing and educational outreach demonstration to explain high-contrast imaging. 


Jules Fowler presented on our current lab software architecture, GLARE (the Generalize Lab Architecture for Restructured optical Experiments). GLARE is an ongoing project in the lab aimed to reorganize software in the Makidon lab so we can streamline our own experiments, promote collaboration with other teams, and share our software with other optics labs.


Marshall Perrin presented updates on HiCAT which included software, education, and general experiment updates.



AAS was also the début of BabyCAT 2.0 – our coronagraph demo with a planet simulator which now belongs to Jet Propulsion Labs.

Garreth Ruane
Nick Sigeler (NASA JPL)
Jules Fowler eagerly showing off the focal plane mask from BabyCAT 2.0


Mario Gennaro was also invited to give a presentation on the STUF at the “MEMS Devices for Use in Ground-Based Spectroscopy; Technology and Applications” workshop. The workshop brought together experts on MEMS, micro-electromechanical systems, of which the digital micromirror devices (DMDs) used in the STUF are a class, just like the DMs (deformable mirrors) used by the high-contrast imaging experiments in the Makidon Lab. He gave a status update on the project, which is still in its infancy, and provided an overview of our goal and objectives. Additionally, he discussed the strategic value that the STUF has for STScI, in both pursuing technology developments for future mission (multi-object UV spectroscopy) and in capitalizing the investments that established the Makidon Lab by proposing an additional direction of growth for the Lab efforts.

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For more information about the Russell B. Makidon Optics Laboratory, please .