Dr. Esteban Vera and the atmospheric turbulence in Fuera de Órbita: “we need a reference, then measure and then, compensate”

Dr. Esteban Vera, academic and investigator at the optoelectronics laboratory of the School of Electrical Engineering (SEE) of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV), participated as an interviewee in Out of Orbit, a TXS Radio program hosted by the distinguished astronomer and scientific communicator Teresa Paneque, who seeks to contribute to the divulgation of the astronomical activity in our country.

In the space, which takes place every Monday, the teacher, along with Paneque, was able to give details about what adaptative optics is, and the contribution that electronic engineering can make in it, through the instrumentation research, in addition to commenting the projects that are being carried out inside the laboratory, particularly what is the creation of the Valparaíso Adaptive Optics Center (CAOVA in Spanish), a group that seeks to be the first of its kind at a regional level, and which also aims to contribute to the formation of advanced human capital.

“There is not always a star guide close to where I want to see in the sky. This has been one of the biggest problems we are faced with this technique, which began to be applied during the 90’s. Then, what has been done and what we know as eight-meter telescopes, such as Paranal o Gémini, is to solve how we generate that guide star, and the solution in that case come from the use of a laser beam”, explained the investigator at the interview, on how adaptive optics copes with the problem of atmospheric turbulence.

“In astronomy many times we talk about the event, the phenomenon, but also we have to talk about how is possible that we can observe and detect these things. Let’s hope that in the future, Chile will have the technological capacity, the technological investment above all, to be able to finance projects such as those that are being carried out in the optoelectronics laboratory of the PUCV”, Paneque said.

It is expected that the collaboration with the scientific communicator will extend into the production of audiovisual capsules of social networks that allows to announce this work area and application of electrical and electronic engineering in astronomy.