Institute for Astronomy

Astronomical Instrumentation PhD Projects

Research projects on offer in our Astronomical Instrumentation Group

Building the Mid-infrared Spectrograph for the ELT

Alistair Glasse, Beth Biller & Ken Rice

The UKATC is building a very high spectral resolution integral field coronagraphic spectrometer (the LMS) as part of the METIS instrument.  METIS will be one of the first instruments to be operational on the ELT in Chile, where the LMS will be a unique tool for studying the atmospheric chemistry of low-mass dwarf stars and giant exoplanets.  It will have the capability to extend the spectroscopic capabilities seen in the JWST’s recent observations of this class of object, with sub-kilometer per second velocity measurement on targets which are a few tens of milliarcseconds from their parent star, both parameters at least an order of magnitude ‘better’ than can be achieved with JWST.  The candidate will join the instrument team in Edinburgh and the exoplanet group of the international METIS consortium’s science team.  They will contribute to the performance verification testing of the spectrometer in Edinburgh, and then spend a period in the Netherlands supporting its integration and testing as part of the full METIS instrument.  As a member of the science team, they will help to develop the observations planned for the METIS team’s ~60-night allocation of ‘guaranteed’ time.  We confidently expect that the experience and expertise gained with lab-based testing of the LMS will put them in a strong position to exploit METIS/ELT science in the early 2030s.