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Keynote – Microchips in Space: How Device Design Enables Amazing Astronomy

Zaheer Ali (Senior Manager for the USRA Science and Mission Operations, NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA))

Location: Elizabeth A. Hangs Theater

Date: Thursday, January 30

Time: 10:00am - 10:45am

Track: Keynote

Format: Keynote

Pass Type: 2-Day Pass, All-Access Pass, Alumni All-Access Pass, Boot Camp Pass, Expo Pass - Get your pass now!

Vault Recording: TBD

On NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), we end flight morning meeting each day with "Let's go get the data!" Rarely, however, do most of the mission team pause to consider what that really means. The scientists and engineers are the ones who know that our systems are reliant upon an intricate network of systems at the core of which are a huge variety of microprocessors of every type. Whether it is computation, imaging, spectroscopy, or controls, micro-devices are critical to every tool that astronomers use. In this talk, we will look at how microchips have brought astronomy from the eye and image plates as main tools to elegantly designed micro-systems with 3D architecture that are taking the most famous images of our universe. We will cover the earliest single pixel detectors that first measured intensity of stars, to the microchips that first imaged the pillars of the universe, and also look at the newest cutting-edge devices that are going to be launched soon.

Intended Audience