Born and raised on O’ahu, Kevin graduated from Punahou School in 2019 and is now studying mechanical engineering in his third year at Case Western Reserve University. He is still exploring potential areas of interest within engineering, but wants to learn more about renewable energy. After graduation, Kevin plans to find a job either on the mainland or in Hawaii, and eventually pursue a Masters degree. Outside of school he enjoys hiking, working out, and playing the French Horn in CWRU’s symphony orchestra.
Home Island: O’ahu
High School: Punahou School
Institution when accepted: Case Western Reserve University
Akamai Project: Enabling DKIST Coronal Observations by Measuring Sky Brightness and Polarization
Project Site:Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, Pukalani Maui HI
Mentors: Dave Harrington, Andre Fehlmann, Lucas Tarr, Tom Schad and Sarah Jaeggli
The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) on the summit of Maui’s Haleakala is the flagship facility for ground-based solar observations in the world. DKIST is able to take high-resolution images of the Sun and measure light scattering in the Sun’s outer atmosphere (corona). However, specific observation modes are only possible during certain terrestrial atmospheric conditions at the telescope. DKIST’s recently purchased Cimel CE318-TP9 photometer is a way to measure these conditions in real time. The Cimel was a new and unfamiliar instrument, so the main stages of this project included performing the initial setup and configuration, determining the Cimel’s most useful modes of data acquisition, analyzing its data formats and output, and integrating it into the observing system at DKIST. The Cimel measures sky radiance and sun irradiance through nine filters of different wavelengths, as well as three polarization states. It is capable of autonomous operation over a specified period of time via a customizable auto mode. Several preliminary sets of data were taken and analyzed via MATLAB and Python code to determine the level of accuracy and consistency of the photometer’s output. With a full understanding of the Cimel’s capabilities and a plan for its function as a DKIST sky-quality monitor, we plan for installation at the summit for real-time operation.