Durham University: Centre for Advanced Instrumentation hosts Thai knowledge transfer programme

The Centre for Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI) has recently hosted two researchers from the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) as part of an Official Development Assistance project funded by STFC-Newton Fund.

This knowledge transfer project with Thailand has drawn together three UK leading institutes in the fields of astronomical and space instrumentation: UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UKATC), the University of Sheffield (UoS), and Durham University’s CfAI with a two week training session at our Orbit site at the end of February.

The primary purpose of this project has been to promote the economic development and welfare of Thailand by helping to remove the barriers that prevent Thailand from independently manufacturing precision optical components.

Jitsupa Paenoi and Pearachad Chartsiriwattana from NARIT undertook placements at Durham University, UKATC and the University of Sheffield, where they were able to learn the principles of mirror design and fabrication for space applications, both conventionally and via additive manufacture.

Led by CfAI Research Fellow, Dr Cyril Bourgenot, Jitsupa and Pearachad were able to learn the process of stress-free mirror design, and model how the mirror distortion translates into optical aberrations whilst in Durham.

The team were also able to provide an introduction to optics manufacturing techniques and optical and mechanical metrology, alongside form and roughness optimisation to meet the challenging requirement for use in Earth Observation satellite instrument.

This knowledge sharing will now enable NARIT to prepare and begin working on the development and manufacture of similar fabrications in their home country.

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