Laboratory For Innovation In Opto-Mechanics

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The scientific overarching aim of LIOM is to enable large optical systems capable of resolving and measuring faint sources not accessible with current remote sensing instruments and detectors

To this purpose, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) will create and sustain an ERA Chair on optics and photonics technology. It will consist of a group of experimental physicists and astronomers, engineers, and technicians dedicated to develop an innovative optics and photonics technology. Under the leadership of  Prof. Jeffrey Kuhn we aim to build a collaboration that will contribute to the development of the next 50 years of astronomical telescopes - be they on the ground, space, or the moon.

The main objective is to build new capacities at the IAC, Canary Islands, to develop new optical and tensegrity technologies to incorporate into the next generation of telescopes, such as the  ExoLife Finder (ELF) telescope ,  aimed at high-contrast imaging of exoplanets around very bright stars to enable the search for signs of life.

This direct imaging technology is equally important, for example, for the commercial study of man-made satellites in the terrestrial to CISLunar environments. LIOM optics technologies will also have important social benefits, for example the new ultra-thin and light mirrors created during this program would be key components of Earth-orbiting optically-linked satellites that will constitute the next phase of the "world-wide web" - the space-based global optical internet.