Control Systems in Astronomy with a Historical Perspective ๐Ÿ—“

— Design of large telescopes

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IEEE San Diego Section
Meeting Date: June 19, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM Networking & Food; 6:30 PM Presentation
Speaker: Dan McKenna of California Institute of Technology, Palomar Observatory
Location: San Diego
Cost: Fee only applies to non-IEEE, members are free
RSVP: requested, through website
Event Details: IEEE vTools

Summary: Using the Palomar Observatory Hale 200 inch telescope as an example of an Observatory designed for all times, we contrast earlier telescopes with the 200 inch for lessons learned and carried forward to the design of the โ€œArizona Mirror labโ€ large telescopes such as the MMT and LBT.

Dan McKenna currently develops instrumentation for the Caltech Optical Observatories on the Caltech Campus in Pasadena.

Dan served as the Superintendent of Palomar Observatory for ten years managing the operations at the Caltech Palomar mountain site.

In the past, Dan has worked as:

Principle engineer for the Large Binocular Telescope located on Mt Graham Arizona

Site manager for the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope, (Pope Scope)

Detector engineer for Canada France Hawaii Telescope located on Mauna Kea Hawaii

Electronics engineer at University of Hawaii at Manoa where he was on the Roddier team pioneering curvature adaptive optics.

In addition to working with Control Systems and Scientific Instrumentation, Dan has also developed systems for radio astronomy and the optical characterization of the line of sight atmosphere using stellar scintillation.

Dan has also worked in Meteorology at the Hawaiian Institute of Geophysics measuring boundary layer interactions from Mauna Kea to Prawn ponds on the Island of Oahu Hawaii and is now experimenting with drone-based atmospheric measurements.

As a member of the American Astronomical Society, Dan serves on the Light Pollution, Radio Interference, and Space Debris Committee.