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Durham University

Centre for Advanced Instrumentation

Adapting to the Atmosphere Conference 2014

Conference Photo

Durham, UK, 15-17th September 2014

Note: This conference is held directly before an adaptive optics modelling and simulation workshop for the convenience of those interested in both meetings.

Current advances in instrumentation for existing large astronomical telescopes, and for the next generation of facilities including the Extremely Large Telescopes, see the development of advanced adaptive optical systems with diverse scientific goals and operational requirements. 

The successful design and operation of these complex systems demands an increasingly detailed understanding of the nature of atmospheric optical turbulence, as well as improvements in our ability to monitor and forecast its properties.

The conference will focus on the interface between atmospheric characterisation and the requirements for astronomical adaptive optics, bringing together experts in both fields.

This is a three day conference. However, the venue is available for the full week so that additional meetings and discussions could be scheduled on Thursday and Friday, in parallel with the modelling and simulation workshop.

The conference will feature presentations and encourage round table discussion sessions. Posters will be displayed during coffee and lunch. The conference dinner will be held in the main hall of Durham's 11th century castle on Tuesday 16th September.

The proceedings will be published by the Institute of Physics: Conference Series.

The following, non-exhaustive list shows the main focus of the conferencePoster

  • Site Testing Instrumentation
    • Recent developments
    • Critical comparisons of site testing instruments, biases and limitations
  • Site Testing And Characterisation Campaign
    • Completed, ongoing, proposed
    • Solar and stellar
  • Atmospheric Modelling And Forecasting
  • Surface, Dome And Local Seeing
    • Measurement
    • Amelioration
  • Adaptive Optics
    • Adaptive Optics Requirements, e.g.:
      • Turbulence vertical profiles and their time variability
      • Wind vertical profiles and their time variability
      • Outer scale of turbulence and its vertical profile
    • Atmospheric characterisation from AO instruments
    • Modelling of AO performance and PSF
    • Lasers (Sodium and Rayleigh), e.g.:
      • Vertical profile of the of the sodium layer
      • Spatial and temporal variability
      • Laser fratricide and back-scatter due to molecules, aerosols and cirrus clouds
  • Links To Stellar Interferometry


  • Richard Wilson (Durham)
  • James Osborn (Durham)
  • Angel Otárola (Thirty Meter Telescope)
  • Thomas Pfrommer (European Southern Observatory)
  • Marc Sarazin (European Southern Observatory)
  • Matthias Schoeck (Thirty Meter Telescope)
  • Eric Steinbring (NRC Herzberg Inst of Astrophysics)


  • Richard Wilson (Durham)
  • James Osborn (Durham)
  • Timothy Butterley (Durham)

This conference has the endorsement of the International Astronomical Union (working group on site testing instrumentation) and has received funding from the European Southern Observatory, the Thirty Meter Telescope and OPTICON.