Postdoc project: Deep Learning Adaptive Optics

The project that the researcher, Jorge Tapia, is developing will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) applied in adaptive optics.

The Dr. on Physical Sciences from Universidad de Concepción, Jorge Tapia Farias has been in Optolab since August, 2021 and currently he’s been working on his project “Fondecyt Postdoctorado 3220561”, that got a funding of US $100K given by the Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID). The investigation began in 2022 and it will last 3 years.

¿What is it about?

The projects title is “Development of optics architectures an AI algorithms for the optimization of wavefront sensors based on deep learning and their application in optic systems exposed to aberrations” all of this because of the possibilities that Chile provides, for example in the astronomy field, because in our country we have the 70% of the world’s astronomical observation capacity and also this is where the next generation of Extremely Large Telescopes will be installed.

Optical telescopes can only reach their maximum resolution if they can sort the huge inconvenience of terrestrial astronomy: the atmosphere. To be able to measure and then correct the effects of atmospheric turbulence on the astronomical images, we have to use adaptive optics systems, which are highly complex and expensive.

¿What is the solution that the project proposes?

The combination of adaptive optics and deep learning. That is, to be able to develop AI based sensors to correct or eliminate atmospheric turbulence in the most efficient and cheaper way.

The first step to begin this investigation was to travel to do an internship at the Laboratoire d’ Astrophysique de Marseille (LAM), there Dr. Jorge Tapia ad the chance to learn how to set up a world class adaptive optics system, which later on was applied in the design and development of PULPOS, an adaptive optics bench. The only one in Chile that gives the possibility to investigate and explore different types of wavefront sensors which allow us to estimate the aberrations of the images and then eliminate them, getting “clean” images.

PULPOS, the optical bench has been developed by Dr. Tapia, with the support of the projects earned by the professor of our Electrical Engineering School and director of our Optoelectronics Lab, Dr. Esteban Vera (QUIMAL 190002 y ALMA ASTRO20-0088) and also the collaboration provided by Dr. Benoit Neichel (LAM) and Dr. Felipe Pedreros (ESO), alongside the PhD and Master students, Camilo Weinberger and Bastián Romero, that are Optolab investigators too.

Currently, each arm or tentacle of PULPOS gives support for the development of new ideas in adaptive optics.