Aliyah was born and raised on the Big Island. She graduated from Hilo High school. She is recently earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Mathematics at Central Washington University. She will be returning to Central Washington to pursue a Master’s of Science in Information Technology and Administrative Management with concentration in Data Analytics. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, playing basketball, and hanging out with her family. She hopes to pursue a career in Sports Statistics.

Home Island: Big Island

High School: Hilo High School

Institution when accepted: Central Washington University

Akamai Project: Cassegrain Astrometric Camera Characterization Using Distortion, Pointing and Focus Models

Project Site: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope – Waimea, Hawai’i Island HI

Mentors: Windell Jones Palma, Simon Prunet, Tom Vermeulen

Project Abstract:

Due to Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope’s (CFHT) relatively narrow field of view SPIRou and ESPaDOnS instruments, CFHT’s telescope pointing accuracy is essential to maintaining a high level of observing efficiency. Due to inaccuracies in the CFHT’s pointing models, having complete certainty in which target to observe is sometimes difficult. Use of star finding charts aid the observers in acquiring the correct target, however this method is prone to human error and interpretation. To overcome these errors, an astrometric camera has been developed at the CFHT to increase the observing efficiency while these narrow field of view instruments are being used. An astrometric analysis of the images taken by this camera, during observing, can be used to determine the pointing direction of the telescope to much greater accuracy and less time than methods that are currently employed. However, to achieve a high level of accuracy, the astrometric camera was characterized. This characterization is performed by analyzing a set of images to extract several key parameters. For such a camera it is essential that the following parameters be determined: pixel scale, field of view, pointing model, image distortion model, and focus model. To estimate all of these models, a least squares minimization approach was taken for each model. As a result, all of these models were estimated in a purely empirical fashion with a high level of accuracy. With these parameters estimated, the astrometric camera would be deemed thoroughly characterized and can be integrated into CFHT’s observing operations. This work summarizes the estimation process for characterizing the CFHT astrometric camera.