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The Department of Astronomy at UF has been able to gain extensive observing time on the world’s most powerful telescopes by becoming one of the premiere centers of astronomical instrumentation.

Ground-Based Instrumentation

  • MIRADAS (consortium page); 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, La Palma, Spain – Near-Infrared multi-object echelle spectrograph operating at spectral resolutions R=20,000 over the 1-2.5μm bandpass
  • CanariCam; 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, La Palma, Spain – Mid-Infrared imager with spectroscopic, coronagraphic, and polarimetric capabilities
  • CIRCE; 10.4 m Gran Telescopio Canarias, La Palma, Spain – Near-infrared astronomical imager, polarimeter, and spectrograph.
  • FLAMINGOS-2; 8.1 m Gemini-South, Cerro Pachon, Chile – Near-Infrared wide field imager and multi-object spectrometer
  • T–ReCS; 8.1 m Gemini-South, Cerro Panchon, Chile – Mid-Infrared imager and long-slit spectrograph
  • FLAMINGOS; 4 m Mayall, Sunspot, New Mexico, USA – Near-Infrared multi-object spectrograph and imager
  • Keck ET; 2.5 m APO, Sunspot, New Mexico, USA – Multi-object radial velocity planet search instrument
  • EXPERT; 2.1 m KPNO, Sunspot, New Mexico, USA – A combination of an interferometer and cross-dispersed echelle spectrograph for high-precision radial velocity measurements
  • MMT-Pol; 6.5 m MMT, Mt Hopkins, Arizona, USA – 1-4 micron diffraction-limited imaging polarimetry

Space-Based Instrumentation

Space based instrumentation brings together faculty and researchers from across UF, as well as nationally and internationally, to collaborate on the development of solutions to enable low cost science and engineering investigations on small spacecraft (1 kg – 100 kg mass). Potential investigations include astronomy, astrobiology, earth science, and the validation of new technologies in space to provide “flight heritage” that will hasten the introduction of new technologies and instrumentation into the market place.

Our research partners currently include UF faculty in aerospace engineering, horticulture, genetics, biology, environmental engineering, chemistry, and geology. We are also looking at partnerships with other Florida universities and with international science and spacecraft groups to expand the breadth of technology developments and science investigations by virtue of tapping into a wider sphere of expertise that can be applied to new investigations. Via partnerships across campus and internationally, it is envisioned that numerous science missions using small spacecraft platforms will be developed and flown to provide low cost in-space science and engineering investigations, thereby increasing the science return per mission investment. Future plans include collaborations on the development and utilization of clusters of small spacecraft which will significantly broaden the capability of small spacecraft, thereby providing an even wider spectrum of low cost space-based science and earth observation missions.