Physicists win NASA funding to upgrade astronomical space telescopes

Physicists win NASA funding to upgrade astronomical space telescopes

University of Iowa physicists have won NASA funding to leverage their expertise in fabricating and testing gratings for use in the ultraviolet range in space-based astronomy.

Keri Hoadley, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will lead a team to demonstrate it can create reflection gratings superior to those typically used for large, astronomical space telescopes.

Hoadley is collaborating with Casey DeRoo, assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, whose group has been honing a new way to fabricate reflection gratings for X-rays, which are at shorter wavelengths than ultraviolet light. Hoadley and her team will take advantage of that progress and try to apply it for ultraviolet light use.

“We’re going to explore a wide range of grating types – ones that have high periods, low periods, even ones with changing periods – to see what works well, what doesn’t, and what new things we can learn about this fabrication technique that would benefit both ultraviolet and X-ray gratings down the road,” says Hoadley, who will join Iowa in August.

The award is through NASA’s Astrophysics Division, and totals $900,000 over three years.

News About: