Jennifer was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and moved to the Big Island in 2011. In 2007 she received her BA in Illustration where she pursued a career in art and became a teacher and then a tattoo artist for 5 years. Currently, Jennifer is going into her senior year as a Physics and Math student at University of Hawaii at Hilo. After graduation, she wishes to pursue a masters in Astronomy. Jennifer has a strong interest in stellar and quantum physics, but also appreciates engineering and technology. She enjoys taking her 6- year-old son to science museums, surfing, swimming, hiking and martial arts.

Home Island: Big Island

Institution when accepted: University of Hawaii at Hilo

Akamai Project: Development and Analysis of a Temperature Sensor Network to Determine Sources of Image Degradation at the University of Hawaii 2.2-Meter Telescope

Project Site: Institute for Astronomy – Hilo, Hawai’i Island HI

Mentors: Mark Chun

Project Abstract:

The UH88 telescope is experiencing a problem with image degradation. In my project I analyzed sources of image degradation from within the telescope. I test the hypothesis that there is distortion happening due to the heat within the telescope and/or inside the facility. I did this by measuring and monitoring the temperatures of various locations with temperature sensors within the facility such as the primary mirror, dome air, and telescope structure. By recording a constant stream of data from temperature sensors located at the telescope, I was able to analyze the temperature of different locations under various conditions over different spans of time. I then developed a data logging system in Python to be able to collect, format and plot these data sets in a multitude of ways. After plotting different conditions and locations against each other and finding the hourly averages over a day, week, and month along with the standard deviations, I compared these plots to find certain correlations. I then estimated the temperature time constants, which are the intervals of time it takes to get from the initial to final ambient temperature, of locations within the tube and compared this to the data recorded. I am able to use this information to make future predictions about the amount of time it takes to cool the mirror and make suggestions on how astronomers can mitigate the amount of heat surrounding the mirror by modifying the current cooling system. The temperature data analysis at various locations and under different conditions is useful to astronomers so that they can try to lessen the blurriness caused by heat distortion. With this data logging system I hope to contribute to finding a solution to receiving higher quality images for astronomers at the UH 2.2 meter telescope, and to finding a way to have a more efficient chiller system and dome/mirror fans.