TEOPS - Technology for Experimental and Observational Physics in Scotland
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TEOPS Groups

Image of the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh, from the air

UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Edinburgh

The UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC) at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh is an STFC facility, responsible for designing and constructing unique astronomical instrumentation. The mission of the UK ATC is to keep the UK at the forefront of World astronomy by continuing to produce the scientific hardware required to enable cutting edge astronomy to be undertaken.

Some current / recent projects include:

  • WFCAM - the largest infrared camera ever built, a cryogenic instrument now undertaking unique surveys in the Northern Hemisphere skies.
  • SCUBA2 - the successor to SCUBA, one of the most successful ground-based instruments ever built, utilising a new generation of sub-millimetre CCD-like detectors.
    A picture of the SCUBA-2 instrument
    The SCUBA-2 instrument being tested at the ATC.

  • MIRI - hosting the European PI and opto-mechanical design leads for this key instrument on the James Webb Space Telescope, successor to the Hubble Space Telescope.
  • VISTA - an infrared survey telescope destined for the Southern hemisphere and a component of the UK's membership of ESO (the European Southern Observatory).

    A picture of the VISTA telescope
    Structure of VISTA telescope in Dome on Cerro Paranal, Chile.

  • KMOS - the K-band (2.2 μm wavelength) Multi-Object Spectrometer - will be a second-generation instrument for one of the ESO Very Large Telescopes. At this wavelength existing instruments can study the spectra of only one object at a time; KMOS will enable astronomers to look at up to 24 at once, making much more efficient use of valuable telescope time. KMOS is being designed and built by a consortium including the Max-Planck Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, the Universitätssternwarte München, the UK ATC, the University of Durham, the University of Oxford and the University of Bristol.
    A picture of KMOS
    CAD image of KMOS

  • European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT): The UK ATC is leading the UK's work towards an optical and infrared telescope of up to 42 m in diameter, approved into the design phase by ESO Council. Colin Cunningham is UK PI, and chairs the ESO ELT Instrumentation Working Group.
  • CIRL - a programme to consolidate knowledge of properties of useful materials at cryogenic temperatures, and to make measurements on materials where properties are currently poorly or completely unknown.
More information on the UK ATC can be found here.
Image of the Kelvin Building, Glasgow

Institute for Gravitational Research, Glasgow

Scotland is unique in having in Glasgow the principal UK experimental team at the forefront of research towards the detection of gravitational radiation. The Institute for Gravitational Research (IGR), under its Director Professor J. Hough FRS, plays a leading part in the UK/German GEO 600 experiment, in the US LIGO project and in the ESA/NASA LISA Project.

Examples of current/recent projects include:
  • Design, construction and demonstration of space-qualified precision aligned optical assemblies for LISA Pathfinder
  • Development of novel interferometric techniques
  • Development of systems of ultra-low mechanical loss for the suspension of mirror test masses
  • Development of multiple pendulum systems using silica fibres to support the test masses
  • New bonding technology (hydroxide-catalysis bonding), which exibits very low mechanical loss and is compatible with ultra-high vacuum
  • Measuring the properties of optical coatings at cryogenic temperatures in preparation for future interferometers operating in this temperature range

A picture of the
LIGO suspension
Suspension for Advanced LIGO

More information on the IGR can be found here.

Experimental Particle Physics group, Glasgow

The University of Glasgow has a strong experimental particle physics group (PPE), under the leadership of Prof. D. Saxon FRSE, renowned worldwide not only for its fundamental research in experiments such as Aleph and ATLAS at CERN but also for its applied research in the area of innovative imaging particle and x-ray detectors.

The Detector Development group is involved in a wide range of projects related to imaging, radiation detection and detector development, within particle physics, medicine, biology and generic technology development.

Examples of current/recent projects include:
  • CERN ATLAS - Production and testing of modules for the LHC/ATLAS
  • CERN LHCb - Design of LHCb/Velo upgrade detectors
  • CERN Medipix - High sensitivity X-ray imaging for medical and synchrotron applications
  • CERN RD50 - New technologies for super radiation hard detectors
  • Retinal imaging - Measuring the electrical activity of retinal tissues
  • Retinal implants - Pixel detectors as a cure for some forms of blindness
  • 3D - Novel detector geometry for high speed radiation hard detectors
  • Silicon carbide - Materials for high radiation environment
  • Gallium nitride - Materials for protein studies
  • Gallium arsenide - Materials for enhanced X-ray detection
  • Detector simulation - Simulation using tools such as Medici, ISE, MCNP, Geant4 and SRIM coupled with the ScotGrid computing hardware
  • Active pixel sensors - New pixel detector technologies

A picture of Medipix
Medipix detector system and x-ray image of shell (collaborative work with CERN Medipix )

More information on the group can be found here.

Page created: Adam Woodcraft
Last edited 2009-3-17     Site map
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