Keck All-Sky Precision AO (KAPA)

KAPA will upgrade the Keck AO system for laser-tomographic AO (to improve the image quality), add IR tip-tilt sensing (to increase sky coverage), and add facility-class PSF reconstruction (to increase the science return). KAPA will be commissioned in 2023. The Project Scientist is Prof. Jessica Lu and members of the Moving Universe Lab are working on many aspects of the project. The PI is Dr. Peter Wizinowich (Keck).


Keck PSF Reconstruction

Goal: Provide point spread function (PSF) estimates for each point in the science field for all NGS and LGS AO science observations taken with NIRC2 and OSIRIS on Keck.

AIROPA Project: We are developing PSF-reconstruction techniques that better capture the spatial variability of the AO PSF.



Keck AO Performance Characterization and Prediction

Goal: Using big data sets from Keck AO, understand what factors effect the AO performance and what hardware or operational procedures can be improved. These same data can be used to predict AO performance using machine learning algorithms.



Keck AO Precision Calibration Unit (PCU) - Distortion Calibration

Goal: Build a new precision calibration unit for the Keck I and Keck II telescopes that includes a pinhole mask used for frequent calibrations of the geometric distortion solution. This will improve our astrometric accuracy by >5x. Prof. Lu is the PI and the PCU is being built in the Moving Universe Lab for delivery to Keck in Fall 2021.


‘imaka is a wide-field (~20 arcmin) ground-layer adaptive optics (GLAO) system that yields ~2x improved seeing on the University of Hawaii 2.2 m telescope. Prof. Lu is the Project Scientist and works with the PI (Dr. Mark Chun at University of Hawaii). Members of the muLab work on system performance characterization.




Goal: Develop a conceptual design for a future Keck GLAO system to feed FOBOS, MOSFIRE, or LRIS.


TNO Adaptive Secondary Mirror

Goal: TNO will develop a new adaptive secondary mirror (ASM) that is more robust and requires less power than current ASMs. We will deploy and tests the new ASM on-sky on the UH 2.2 m telescope. Prof. Lu is the project scientist and members of the muLab will characterize the AO performance on sky.

Roman Astrometry

We have developed compelling science cases for the high astrometry precision that Roman will deliver. These science cases help set requirements and operational or calibration procedures for Roman.

Our work on the potential science impact of Roman for understanding stellar mass black holes is described on the Black Holes page.


CuRIOS (CubeSats for Rapid Infrared and Optical Surveys)

CuRIOS is a fleet of Cube Satellites that will study star death and afterlife by observing transient phenomena originating from black holes and neutron stars. The CuRIOS swarm will provide constant (all the time) coverage of the entire sky in the optical/near-IR. The main science case is to locate and understand the physical processes behind stellar-mass black holes by observing microlensing events in the Galactic Center region. The CuRIOS team includes Prof. Jessica Lu, Prof. Josh Bloom, and Prof. Steven Beckwith, along with graduate student Hannah Gulick and post-doc Guy Nir.


Goal: Develop a concept for a constellation of CubeSats to perform a wide-field survey (eventually all-sky) with the goal of delivering precision photometry down to ~20th mag in the optical or ~18th mag in the infrared.