“Astrophysical Instrumentation”, an audiovisual tour of the technology and engineering developed at the IAC

Hall for mounting, integration, and verification at the IAC Headquarters. Fotogram from the audiovisual presentation “Astrophysical Instrumentation”. Credits: IAC.
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Astrophysics is one of the areas of knowledge in which advances in investigation and research are most closely intertwined. To reach further out to detect fainter and fainter objects, and to disentangle their properties are the motives for developing bigger and bigger telescopes and more and more powerful instruments. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC), a Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence, has produced a new video -“Astrophysical Instrumentation”- with the aim of showing how we meet the technical challenges presented by this science.

This audiovisual presentation follows the line of the series “IAC Researches” with a narration by the personnel in engineering, science, and technology of the Institute, who talk about their work, the projects in which they are involve, and also about their motivation and hopes.

This video, which can now be seen on the Youtube channel of the IAC, was directed by Iván Jiménez Montalvo, and produced by the Unit of Communication and Science Culture (UC3) of the IAC. The project has benefitted by funding from the Severo Ochoa Programme, and initiative of the Secretariat of State of Research, Development and Innovation of the Ministry of Economics, Industry and Competitivity, whose motive is to promote excellent research in Spain in all fields of science. The audiovisual film has been made in the framework of the specific objectives of the programme aimed at diffusion of the results of research within the general public and the promotion of careers in science.

Specialized personnel

The IAC develops a major part of the technology required for its research activities in astrophysics, and in addition offers technological support services to other institutions and international collaborations. The Institute also maintains a close relationship with technologically based companies, collaborating with them on specific projects.

The Instrumentation Division of the IAC gives technical support to the scientific and industrial projects of the Institute. Its personnel are highly specialized in a range of disciplines and it possesses advanced installations and equipment, among which are the largest cleanrooms in the country.

The Instrumentation Division works on some fifty projects at a time in I+D+i. At the present time it is developing technology for some of the biggest astrophysical installations in the world, such as the Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC), the Very Large Telescopes (VLYT), the Extremely Large European Telescope (E-ELT)  and the European Solar Telescope (EST). It also participates in several space missions, such as the Herschel Space Observatory, Solar Orbiter, and EUCLID, among others.

Thanks to its accumulated experience, the IAC is a world-leading reference point in the development of projects which require innovation, technology and advanced knowledge. Among its technical capacity we pick out: the design, development, and verification of optical, mechanical and optical systems, of cryogenic systems under vacuum, adaptive optics, characterization of detectors and optical fibres, design of specific software, and laser communication.

Participants in the video: Ángeles Pérez, Enrique Joven, Iciar Montilla, Marcos Reyes, Ana Fragoso, Luis Fernando Rodríguez, Begoña García, José Miguel Rodríguez, Mary Barreto, Luzma Montoya and Roger Hoyland.

See the video “Astrophysical Instrumentation” in:

Credits: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias.
Guion, edition and realization: Iván Jiménez
Camera: Inés Bonet
Dolly Camera: Daniel López
Production: Nayra Rodríguez
Scientific advice: Enrique Joven

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