In the last years, the Observatory of Padova (Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica - Osservatorio Astronomico di Padova) and the University of Padova have been involved massively in projects dedicated to the exoplanets search, both ground, and space-based. The activities concerning my Ph.D. have been exploited both in the framework of the space projects and in the field of ground instrumentation. PLATO, the acronym of "PLAnetary Transits and Oscillations of stars", is a ESA mission o with the target to detect and characterize exoplanets utilizing their transit on a bright star. The overall instrumental layout consists of a multi-telescope concept instrument, composed by several tens of telescope units, for which it has developed an all-refractive optical solution. These devices are characterized by a very large Field of View (>20 degrees on one side) with an optical quality that fits most of the energy into a single sensor pixel. I participated in the Assembly, Integration, and Verification (AIV) of the Telescope Optical Unit prototype, to validate the AIV procedure and the telescope optical performance in-flight conditions. SHARK-NIR, the acronym of "System for coronagraphy with High order Adaptive optics from R to K band - Near-Infrared", is an instrument designed to search and characterize the young exo-planetary system and star-forming regions in the NIR domain, in coronagraphic direct imaging and spectroscopic mode. It has been selected for the 2nd generation Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) instruments, and it will take advantage of the excellent performance of the LBT eXtreme Adaptive Optics (XAO) correction, necessary for SHARK-NIR to achieve the best possible coronagraphic performance, which is mandatory to detect faint planets orbiting around bright stars. Concerning SHARK, my activity has been performing optical alignment and qualification of the instrument.
- Pub Date:
- December 2020
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- 326 pages, 252 figures, 59 tables, PhD thesis, 2019, Doctoral School in Astronomy University of Padua, https://www.dfa.unipd.it/didattica/dottorati-di-ricerca/