Astronomy Instrumentation is a research area within which you can focus your studies as part of our suite of Physics and Astronomy research programmes (MPhil, PhD).
The Astronomy Instrumentation Group (AIG) has a reputation for not only developing world-leading enabling technology but in translating these developments into state-of-the-art instrument design to fulfil current scientific needs. This is evidenced by our considerable involvement in virtually all FIR space instruments, including the Herschel (Cardiff is PI institute for the SPIRE instrument) and Planck space telescopes. The AIG comprises 7 academic staff, 9 post-doctoral research associates and 6 PhD students, supported by highly skilled cleanroom, cryogenic and electronic technicians and computer engineers.
The AIG was a major contributor to both the Herschel and Planck space satellites and the Cardiff Astrophysics group continues to work on the exciting data that these two instruments are generating. Professor Matt Griffin is the Principle Investigator for the SPIRE Instrument on Herschel and all three Herschel instruments rely on unique Cardiff AIG optical technology for their operation. Cardiff also plays a major role in the Planck-HFI instrument, by way of Co-Investigator Professor Peter Ade.
The group is headed by Professor Walter Gear, who is also a Co-Investigator on the Herschel project and was Principle investigator on the QUaD CMB polarization experiment and the SCUBA camera on the JCMT in Hawaii.
The AIG has well supported laboratories, engineering workshop and cleanroom facilities as well as excellent computing facilities for all related research.
We are currently active in the following research areas:
- Quasi Optics and metamaterials
- Earth Observing.
- Far Infrared Interferometry
- Readout electronics
- Multi-object spectroscopy
- Device qualification.