March 7, 2002

Center For Adaptive Optics Invites Private Industry to Join Advisory Board

LIVERMORE, Calif.—Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a key partner in the University of California Santa Cruz-based Center for Adaptive Optics (CfAO), invite industry and investor leaders to join an Industrial Advisory Board.

The 4-year-old CfAO is a National Science Foundation and Technology Center and is made up of 25 participating institutions including universities, national laboratories and private businesses.

The center operates with a $4 million NSF budget and matching funds of about $2 million from the participating institutions.

Adaptive optics has applications that include astronomy, ophthalmology (vision technology), MEMS (micro-electrical mechanical systems), lasers and communications.

Private business, industry and investor leaders are invited to participate in a free initial organizational meeting of the Center’s Industrial Advisory Board at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 23, 2002, at the Berkeley Marina Radisson Hotel. The one-hour meeting will be followed by in-depth technical sessions. Space is limited. To reserve a seat or for more information on the advisory board meeting, contact Kevin O’Brien at (925) 422-7782.

The goal of the advisory board is to increase interaction between industrial and CfAO personnel, provide industrial perspective and advice to CfAO researchers, and consider a NSF Industry-University Consortium to enable more industry-directed research on adaptive optics from ongoing CfAO research.

The Livermore Lab has played a key role in adaptive optics technology.

Several projects in the fields of astronomy, vision science, secure communication and lasers are under way.

In astronomy, adaptive optics are being used at the Keck Observatory to create a virtual guide star that enables astronomers to minimize the blurring effects of the Earth’s atmosphere, producing images with unprecedented detail and resolution. The adaptive optics system uses light from a relatively bright star to measure the atmospheric distortions and to correct for them, but only about 1 percent of the sky contains stars sufficiently bright to be of use. The new virtual guide star will enable Keck astronomers to study nearly the entire sky with the high resolution of adaptive optics.

In vision science, Livermore scientists are developing new MEMS technology that can detect retinal disease at an earlier stage and allow an ophthalmologist to treat the disease before it affects a person’s vision. In addition, a retinal prosthesis is also being developed for those patients whose vision has been impaired from disease.

In the communications field, Livermore researchers have used adaptive optics to develop secure point to point optical communication that can correct for turbulence in the atmosphere.

Livermore scientists also used adaptive optics to develop a 10-kW average power Solid State Heat Capacity Laser (SSHCL) that could provide new short range air and missile defense capability.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

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