Congratulations to Dr. Miller, MagAO-X’s newly minted PhD!

This is a late post, but on November 16, 2018, Kelsey Miller successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation! Congratulations, Dr. Miller!

Kelsey and her Ph.D. Committee – Olivier, Jared, and Michael

Kelsey’s research is on Linear Dark Field Control (LDFC), a focal plane wavefront sensing technique where she monitors the bright field speckles and uses their linear nature to maintain stability in the dark hole. She has been developing LDFC using the MagAO-X pupil and vAPP coronagraph design. You can learn more about Kelsey’s work in LDFC (JATIS, arXiv) and how LDFC will work with MagAO-X (SPIE, arXiv).

Kelsey is off to cooler climates at Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands, who have been our collaborators with the vAPP coronagraph. She will be a postdoctoral researcher with Frans Snik, continuing her work on LDFC to get it working on sky. We will miss you tremendously!

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MagAO-X @ SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018

This past week, the MagAO-X team attended the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation conference in Austin, TX. Here’s a recap of all of our presentations at the conference.

Let’s start off with the talks. Jared kicked off our presentation collection with a talk on the MagAO-X update:

Starting it off with the MagAO-X PI

Laird gave an update on MagAO:

We love MagAO!

Kelsey gave a fantastic talk on the vAPP for MagAO-X and Linear Dark Field Control:

Kelsey’s awesome presentation with excellent use of pictures

Lauren gave an awesome talk on her PyWFS PYRITE sims:

Lauren’s talk stepped through PyWFS really well, great job!

Justin presented PIAACMC designs for SCExAO/GMT/MagAO-X:

Despite being the last talk of the conference, it still had great attendance!

The rest of us had poster presentations:

Joseph presented on his CLIO data analysis

Maggie presented on her work with the MagAO-X kinematic mounts

Alex R (v1.0) presented his simulations work on Fraizen’s paper

Rachel Morgan (MIT) presented her work using the data Ewan collected with MagAO on 2017B

Alex H (v2.0) presented his work with the MagAO-X K-mirror mount

Laird presented the MagAO-X optomechanical design

Kyle presented his work characterizing the MagAO-X DMs

Jhen presented her work using POPPY to characterize the MagAO-X and LGS testbeds

Jared made a poster for GMagAO-X

Here’s some shenanigans from the conference and in Austin:

Jared’s talk crashed several times once during his presentation. It turns out, LibreOffice and the SPIE talk upload system disagree with each other, particularly with how to handle Lauren’s 700 KB flaming logo. When transitioning to the next talk, MagAO-X refused to leave the screen.

Free advertisement for MagAO-X!

According to Laird, later in the week, Lauren’s MagAO-X logo came back to shutdown another talk. The computer tried to “recover” Jared’s talk and so the solution was to kill it outright. MagAO-X came back with a vengeance it seems.

Laird is the best science dad

In accordance to the SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2016 conference, this time Jared and Olivier were sitting together as opposed to being in the same room at the same time:

They showed up together for Kelsey’s talk!

Despite the heat and humidity, Austin was a great conference location.

I observed some Texas locals

Sunset dinner by the Colorado River

I did the millennial thing and ate avocado toast for brunch one day

And so concludes SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2018. It was a fantastic time seeing everyone, meeting new people, attending talks, and presenting research. To close off, here’s a quote from the MagAO-X PI:

Jared: “All deficiencies in your presentations have been noted and will be addressed in due course.”

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MagAO 2018 Day N: Still Not Home

We left LCO 48 hours ago.

When we got to La Florida airport in La Serena, it was foggy. And it got foggier. So as we waited for our plane to land so we could board it and travel home, we slowly lost sight of the runway. Then we heard the plane as it buzzed the runway and decided it couldn’t land. That’s a bad feeling.

The official hotel of MagAO, the Casino Enjoy, was full. So we had to downgrade and check into the Costa Real — a.k.a. the GPI hotel.

At the Costa Real Hotel bar, working on getting flights for the next day.

We got complementary empanadas con queso, at least

We ended up with essentially the same itinerary, 24 hours later. So we got some time for a walk around La Serena.

The view of our La Serena street corner

It’s actually been 5 or so years since we bothered to spend time in La Serena. La Recova is the same.

We remembered the La Recova fountain.

La Recova

We are now in Dallas. As we landed at 5 am this morning we were greated to notifications that our flight to Tucson was delayed 20 minutes. The delay has continued to grow.

The text messages received by Joseph in the span of a few hours

Our next major problem was that the first officer’s chair was broken. We were actually buckled in and ready to go, then they kicked us off to repair the chair. Deplaning number 1.

Here we are in an Airport restaraunt, after deplaning.

So. Next. We got on the plane, a little faster having rehearsed once. Everything looked good. Pushed back, taxied for a while, and then stopped. After sitting for a bit, the skipper got back on and started with “Well folks, I guess it’s one of those days . . .” Apparently a fuel gage problem, so we pulled back to a (different) gate.

And then the cops boarded the plane. Yeah.

So we aren’t home yet. We’re back in the terminal in DFW, waiting to board a different plane and try again. We are making lots of friends here in the refugee camp, and AA is giving out free food.

Refugee camp A21. The free pretzels made Laird unreasonably happy.

I don’t know where I’ll be tomorrow. I’ll probably still be wearing the same clothes though.

Update:

I’ve been trying to make it home
Got to make it, before too long
Oh I can’t take this, very much longer…

We finally made it:

Your intrepid adventurers in Tucson at last, with luggage in hand.

I’ll admit that I expected my Uber to break down the whole way home.

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